"It is a personal tragedy when anyone becomes unemployed, especially so in these difficult economic times. I understand from personal experience the devastating effects that this can have on individuals and their families. I am working with employers, trade unions, Lancashire Economic Partnership the North West Development Agency and Government Ministers aiming to give people the help they need to get back into work as quickly as possible."
"The government is committed to taking action to support those people who lose their jobs. It is investing £500 million to give to cash to employers to recruit and train unemployed people, money and support for unemployed people to set up their own business; training to improve skills to get a job; and more chances to volunteer while looking for a job. In the pre-budget report an extra £1.3 billion of investment was announced. This will guarantee that everyone looking for work will get help from day one, advice and support in all aspects of looking for a new job and even help with mortgage repayments from week 13. The Rapid Response Service will also offer help to people at risk of redundancy to find a new job before they become unemployed."
"Getting people back into work at the earliest opportunity is essential. It is absolutely vital there is real action and help available; and that people are not just written off."