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Regional minister meets businesses to discuss budget boost

28 April 2009

Department for Work and Pensions Minister and South East Regional Minister, Jonathan Shaw, is to visit two sites in Sussex to hear first-hand how plans announced in the Budget will help jobseekers and established companies.

The Minister will meet business representatives in Brighton who may want to put in a bid for the new Future Jobs Fund which will guarantee a job or training place for 18 to 24 year olds, before they have been unemployed for 12 months.

Jonathan Shaw said: "This is the beginning of working with councils and voluntary groups to develop new jobs through the Future Jobs Fund and by January next year, every 18 to 24 year old who is approaching 12 months unemployment or more will be guaranteed a new job, training or paid work experience place.

"We are asking local organisations to submit innovative bids to create brand new real jobs which will have a benefit to the local community."

The Government’s commitment to strengthening the long-term framework for a low-carbon energy future was illustrated by the Budget announcement of £405 million to support low-carbon industries and advanced green manufacturing. This is just one of the steps, to help make the UK a worldwide leader.

As part of this push to develop the UK’s low-carbon energy industry, the Minister will be visiting Ceres Power Limited on Crawley’s Denvale Trade Park. He will hear about the company’s fuel cell development and its plans to expand its manufacturing to a new base in Horsham.

The South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), committed to innovative, environmentally friendly energy technology has provided more than £1.4 million to assist Ceres Power Ltd in the development of low carbon fuel cells for the global energy market.

SEEDA has also supported Ceres on an operational level to secure micro-scale demonstrators in Dartford as well as in finding a suitable site for the company's new factory where it is anticipated at least 100 highly skilled employees will be required.

Jonathan Shaw said: "The visits today illustrate the Government’s commitment to the South East’s future economy by helping young people get back into employment, and to the region’s sustainable future through our support in securing the country’s low carbon industry through the green agenda."

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