Action on jobs

Jo’s Get East Dunbartonshire Working initiative and Jobs Fair helped to get local people into work.  Unemployment in East Dunbartonshire has dropped to 1.3% - its lowest level in 10 years.  

Jo is a strong supporter of local businesses who can benefit from a number of Coalition Government measures including the £2000 Employment Allowance to help them new employ staff.


2014 record year for low unemployment

A further fall in local unemployment in December was welcomed by East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson, who is delighted that the year ended with another employment landmark reached.

In December, there were 496 unemployed people locally, a fall of 2 from November 2014 and from 670 the year before. This is the lowest figure in the 10 years Jo has been the local MP.

Jo said:

“2014 was an excellent year for local employment figures. The current rate of 1.3% claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance means East Dunbartonshire has one of the lowest levels of unemployment across the whole of the UK.

“The economic recovery continues to gain momentum across the UK. Unemployment now stands atits lowest level for more than six years. Since the Liberal Democrats entered Government the economy has created an extra job every minute of every day with 30.8 million people now in work including a record number of women.

“Confidence is growing in our local businesses with half telling me last year they intend to recruit extra staff in 2015. 900 local companies have also taken advantage of the Government’s Employment Allowance scheme – a £2,000 cut in their National Insurance bill which can be put towards hiring new employees or investing in the company.”

Key facts

The number of Jobseeker's Allowance claimants in East Dunbartonshire constituency in December 2014 was 496. This represents a rate of 1.3% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64, the 521st highest of the 650 UK constituencies. (1st = highest rate of unemployment, 650th = lowest rate of unemployment.)

The number of claimants is 174 lower than in December 2013 and 2 lower than in November 2014. These data are not seasonally adjusted



Another fall in unemployment

East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson is delighted that local unemployment dropped once again last month, this time to its lowest level for over 6 years. This comes on the back of the positive news that the economy has grown by 0.8% over the last quarter, ensuring that the UK economy has now returned to the same level it was before the financial crisis in 2008.

Commenting, Jo said:

“Once again it is fantastic to see that local unemployment has fallen for the fifth consecutive month, this time to its lowest level for over 6 years. There were 573 unemployed people locally in July, down from 890 this time a year ago.

“I am proud of the part the Liberal Democrats have played in the economic recovery, and our continued support for small businesses is starting to pay dividends for people and companies locally. In my recent survey over 50% of local businesses said they intend to recruit new staff in the next year, a very positive sign that confidence in the local economy is improving.”


Businesses want to hire more staff

A survey of over 100 local small businesses by East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson showed that many are in an optimistic mood about future growth.

Over half the local businesses said they intend to employ new staff in the next year, whereas fewer than 4 in 10 said they had recruited in the last 12 months, showing the increased confidence of local employers. Very few respondents thought regulation, tax or access to finance were significant obstacles to growth; all areas the Liberal Democrats in Government have reformed for businesses.  

The Coalition Government is offering businesses a £2,000 allowance to reduce national insurance contributions and help with the cost of hiring new staff, and half of local businesses thought this measure would boost their business. 

Only 14 respondents said they had applied for a business loan in the last two years. However, there was a positive response to the Government’s £1billion Business Bank, set up by the Liberal Democrats and which increases access to finance; 50 respondents said they would now consider using this scheme. 

Commenting, Jo said: 

“My survey revealed some interesting comments on the state of the economy, the mood amongst local employers and what can be done to help businesses grow. 

“Confidence in the local economy is clearly growing, shown by the fact that more than half of local employers now say they intend to hire staff in the next year. It is very encouraging that local firms reacted positively to government schemes designed to support small businesses and I was pleased to see 85% of respondents said they wanted to hear more about these schemes to help their business grow. 

“As East Dunbartonshire’s MP I see it as a key part of my job to support local employers, which is why I organised a Jobs Fair which was hugely successful in putting local companies in touch with job seekers. 

“The Coalition Government has made it easier for people to set up a business and access finance, and I will continue to assist local businesses who want to make the most of the supportive schemes that have been created”.  


Unemployment at lowest level since 2008

East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson has expressed her delight that local unemployment has fallen to its lowest level since July 2008.

In April 2014 there were 633 unemployed claimants in East Dunbartonshire, a fall of 40 from the previous month. This means just 1.5% of people were claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance, making East Dunbartonshire one of the lowest areas of unemployment in the whole of the UK.

Commenting after the release of these encouraging figures, Jo said: 

“Building a stronger economy to support and create jobs is the key reason why as Liberal Democrats we went into government in the first place.  I’m so glad that not only is the national unemployment rate falling fast, but particularly that people are feeling the benefits here in East Dunbartonshire. 

“I’ve worked hard to promote jobs in our area, by organising a Jobs Fair and my Get East Dunbartonshire Working initiative.  It is excellent news that local unemployment is now down to 1.5%, which is the lowest it has been since July 2008.”


Jo launches business survey

Local MP Jo Swinson has launched a survey of 1900 businesses in East Dunbartonshire asking how she can help them grow and take on more staff. The surveys were sent out this week and responses will feed in ideas to help grow the local economy.

Commenting, Jo said:

“Business owners have had a tough battle in recent years and it’s great to see the economy recovering thanks to the actions of Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government.  But we know there’s much more to do to ensure long term, stable growth.

“Locally I’ve organised a Business Banking event, a jobs fair, and an apprenticeship campaign that saw 109 people given jobs or training opportunities.

“Feedback from the business community about what more we can do locally and nationally would be welcome. I want to hear from businesses across East Dunbartonshire, the people who make our local economy tick, on what I can do as MP and also what Lib Dems in Government can do to help keep the economy growing.”


Unemployment drops even further

Local MP Jo Swinson welcomed figures that show unemployment in East Dunbartonshire fell once again. There were 796 claimants on Job Seekers Allowance in East Dunbartonshire in September, down by 198 from the same time last year.

Commenting Jo said:

“It is encouraging news that unemployment in our area is at its lowest since January 2009. However there’s no room for complacency.

“These remain challenging times for many people locally, but there is some encouragement from this week’s employment figures.

“Liberal Democrats are committed to building a stronger economy and a fairer society where everyone can get on in life which is why our ‘A Million Jobs’ campaign running up and down Great Britain is so vital.

“Here in East Dunbartonshire I recently organised a jobs fair to help unemployed residents find out about what jobs and training opportunities are available locally.”


Jobs Fair Success

Local MP Jo Swinson is hailing the success of the East Dunbartonshire Jobs Fair held last Thursday (26 September 2013) in Kirkintilloch’s Southbank Marina.  Over 100 people attended the fair organised along with Job Centre Plus to discuss how to boost jobs and growth in the area and find out what apprenticeships and other training opportunities are currently available.

Job Centre Plus outlined the programmes and opportunities they have on offer, as did representatives from the Commonwealth Games 2014, East Dunbartonshire Council and Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce. The event also had a practical focus with Aviva, Aroprint, Tell Training and East Dunbartonshire Council staging mock interview sessions and giving tips on how to apply for positions and write a compelling CV.

The event was held as part of the Liberal Democrat ‘A Million Jobs’ campaign ensuring that more businesses pledge to take on apprentices and create employment. The Liberal Democrat party has helped to create a million jobs since the General Election

Commenting Jo said:

“I am delighted the jobs fair was such a huge success.

“Local young people are keen to work hard and get out there to find opportunities that will lead to a better future.  I often hear from business owners impressed by the dedication and drive of the young people on their team.

“Thank you to all the employers and training providers who took part and lent their support to those looking for work or wanting to try something new. It shows how committed businesses are to supporting the local economy.”



East Dunbartonshire Jobs Fair

Local MP Jo Swinson has teamed up with the Jobcentre Plus to run a jobs fair in East Dunbartonshire.  The event will take place on 26 September from 10:30am-1pm at the Southbank Marina in Kirkintilloch.  Jo and Jobcentre Plus are both keen to reduce unemployment in the constituency further and to get more people back into work.

Commenting Jo said:

“Creating more jobs and opportunities – particularly for young people – is currently top of the Liberal Democrat list of priorities.

“Any young or unemployed person in East Dunbartonshire who would like information on jobs or modern apprenticeships should come along to the fair on the 26th to find out more.

“It will be a great opportunity for people to get advice, make some contacts and hopefully secure a position to kick start their career.

Event Schedule:


10.30am:                              Registration

10.45am:                              Welcome speech Jo Swinson MP

10.50am:                              Job Centre Plus presentation

11.00am:                              Commonwealth Games team presentation

11.10am:                              East Dunbartonshire Council presentation

11.20am:                              Dumbartonshire Chamber of Commerce presentation

11.25am:                              Q&A session/networking/refreshments

12-1pm:                               Breakout sessions



We need more apprenticeships for Scotland – Jo

We need more apprenticeships for Scotland – Jo

Jo Swinson MP for East Dunbartonshire is urging the SNP Government to increase the number of apprenticeships created in Scotland.  Jo’s call for more opportunities for local young people is part of the Liberal Democrat campaign to double the 1 million jobs the Coalition Government has already created in the private sector.

Jo wrote to the Scottish Government to outline the importance of ensuring young people gain the skills and experiences necessary to succeed on the job market in light of Scotland falling behind England for businesses offering apprenticeships.

Commenting Jo said:

 “The Liberal Democrats in Government have helped business create more than a million private sector jobs and now we’re working to create a million more.  Apprenticeships are key to that.

“Modern apprentices not only provide young people with opportunities and careers, they are also a real help to businesses who take them on.

“The number of apprenticeships in Scotland is dropping, while numbers continue to rocket in the rest of the UK. 

“Scotland can’t afford to fall behind England: we must do more for the next generation of school leavers and young people looking for work if we are going to create a strong economy on a fair society.

“That is why I am organising a challenge this summer as part of the Liberal Democrat campaign to double the number of businesses in the UK that offer apprenticeships. While this challenge may seem a tall order I know East Dunbartonshire will rise to the occasion!”

Jo’s letter to Angela Constance is below:

Angela Constance MSP

Minister for Youth Employment

The Scottish Parliament

Edinburgh EH99 1SP

13 June 2013

Dear Angela,

The Liberal Democrats in Government have helped business create more than a million private sector jobs and are now working to create a million more.  Apprenticeships provide young people with opportunities and careers they may not otherwise have had.  They are key to increasing jobs and are one of the success stories of the Coalition Government.

Currently 14% of businesses offer apprenticeships in England compared to only 12% in Scotland and the number of apprenticeships in Scotland is continuing to fall which will only widen that gap.  Scotland should not be falling behind England.

I’ve spoken to many employers who have taken on apprentices in the past.  They all praise the contribution their apprentices have made to the business: they’re hard-working, keen to learn and full of new ideas and ambition.

I would be grateful if you could tell me what steps the Scottish Government is making to increase the number of apprenticeships in Scotland to ensure young people gain the skills and experiences necessary to succeed in the job market.

Yours sincerely,


Jo Swinson MP


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