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Public’s top priority for levelling up is more and better jobs – new TUC poll

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady

The British public’s number one priority for levelling up is more and better jobs, according to new TUC (@The_TUC) polling published today (Tuesday).

The TUC polling, conducted by YouGov, reveals one in two Britons (49 per cent) think increasing the number and quality of jobs available should be front and centre of the government’s strategy to level up the UK.

Other popular policies include upgrading transport infrastructure, which 35 per cent backed and improving high streets and towns, which 33 per cent wanted.

Increasing the number and quality of jobs is popular across the political spectrum.

Half (49 per cent) of those who voted Conservative in the 2019 general election want more and better jobs, along with more than half of Labour voters (56 per cent) and Lib Dem voters (54 per cent).

And it is popular among older voters – the demographic most likely to vote Conservative. Half (52 per cent) of over 65s back better jobs to level up the UK.

The polling also revealed what the government should prioritise when looking at which areas to invest in:

  • Two in five (40 per cent) said areas with lots of people in poverty.
  • Three in 10 (30 per cent) said areas with mostly low wage, insecure work.
  • Three in 10 (30 per cent) said areas with high unemployment.

Level up work

The new polling comes as the government prepares to publish its levelling up white paper.

The TUC says the key test of the white paper is whether it sets out a plan to deliver decent work across the country.

The union body warns that if the government does not “level up work”, the government’s much-vaunted levelling up agenda will fail.

Recent TUC research has revealed the widespread nature of low-paid and insecure work in the UK:

  • 3.6 million or one in nine working people are in insecure work;
  • The size of the gig economy has near tripled over the past five years;
  • One million children in key worker households are in poverty.

The TUC is urging the government to finally deliver its long-awaited employment bill and put an end to the scourge of insecure work by banning zero hours contracts and giving workers greater rights – including greater union access to workplaces.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Everyone deserves to be treated fairly at work and paid a wage they can live on. But for too many in the UK, work isn’t paying the bills.

“After more than a decade of lost pay and with the cost-of-living crisis taking its toll, it’s time ministers got their priorities right. We can’t level up the country without levelling up work.

“The public has spoken. They want better jobs in every corner of the country.

“The key test for the government’s white paper is whether it will set out a plan for decent work across the country.

“That means ministers must finally deliver on an employment bill to put an end to the scourge of insecure work by banning zero-hours contracts and giving unions greater access to workplaces.

“And the government must invest in good green jobs in industries of the future and give key workers the decent pay rise they deserve.”

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Employability, Work and leadership, Social impact

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