Unemployment is, sadly, set to become one of the key challenges that the country faces over the next few months. Every independent forecaster says the jobless total will rise sharply in 2009, and though we very much hope that the forecasts prove too pessimistic, it seems pretty clear that things are going to get worse.
Over the next few weeks the Conservative Party will be setting out our vision about how we can get Britain working again, and ensure that the current situation is as short lived as possible. We will also do all we can to point people in the right direction to get the practical help that they need if they are unfortunate enough to lose their job.
To kick off our plans, members of the Shadow Cabinet are today holding Get Britain Working forums in major cities across the UK. From Plymouth to Edinburgh, members of our team will be meeting local people and organisations involved in both the business community and from groups who work with those who have lost their jobs. We are listening to their thoughts about what could be done differently, and setting out some of our own ideas about the things that can be done immediately to make a difference.
And we’ll be doing much more in the weeks ahead to do our bit.