Prime Minister Boris Johnson will rally Ministers behind the Government’s multibillion drive to unlock economic growth and job creation through strong infrastructure and better transport links, as the Elizabeth Line opens its doors to the public on Tuesday 24th May.
Speaking at Cabinet, the Prime Minister is expected to reflect on the way long-term investment in UK infrastructure pays off, with the Elizabeth Line project alone supporting 55,000 jobs, 1,000 apprenticeships and forecast to boost the UK economy by £42 billion.
While the Prime Minister has been in office, a record number of transport projects have been launched. Nearly £135 billion of Government investment is set to transform connectivity across the country and is already creating tens of thousands of new employment opportunities for apprentices, graduates and skilled workers.
The Prime Minister is expected to impress upon Cabinet the need to maintain Government’s high level of ambition for infrastructural investment as key to building a high-wage, high-skill economy.
The £96bn Integrated Rail Plan represents the largest ever single investment in our railways, and will support over 50,000 jobs, including the creation of 19,000 new high-skilled positions. Faster, better journeys will drive economic growth across the North and Midlands.
HS2 is already supporting more than 24,000 jobs and has created over 900 apprenticeships, with over 2,400 UK-registered companies already delivering work on the project. It’s expected to support over 34,000 jobs and at least 2,000 apprenticeships at its peak in 2027/28.
The transition to zero emission vehicles can support up to 40,000 new automotive jobs. The recently launched Electric Vehicle Strategy, backed by £1.6bn, will create thousands of new jobs and is already attracting significant private investment, including £1bn from bp pulse.
£500m for the Restoring Your Railway programme is reconnecting smaller communities and boosting local businesses – with 40 new jobs directly connected to the restored line in Dartmoor, and a similar number expected for other restorations currently being developed, such as the Northumberland line.
£24bn commitment through the Road Investment Strategy is improving the country’s road network – the Lower Thames Crossing will employ over 22,000 people, including apprenticeships and graduates.
Work is the best route out of poverty, with those going into full time employment potentially being £6,000 better off than those on benefits. It also provides the opportunity to grow and develop, which is why moving people into jobs continues to be one of the Government’s highest economic priorities.
This comes as the Way to Work campaign approaches its target of moving half a million claimants into work by the end of June, with at least 283,300 having moved into jobs by the end of April.
Speaking ahead of Cabinet, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
As the Elizabeth Line opens to the public, we know it’s not just Londoners that will reap the rewards, but the whole country – because better transport grows the economy, levels up opportunity and creates jobs.
Just last week, official figures showed that under this Government unemployment has fallen to the lowest level in nearly half a century, just 3.7 per cent – which shows our drive to get people into jobs is working.
And we’re going further and faster to ensure that by investing in infrastructure right across the UK, our massive transport projects will get the nation firing on all pistons again as we recover from the pandemic.
As well as growing the economy to address the cost of living, this Government’s priorities over the coming months are doing all we can to end Putin’s onslaught in Ukraine, cutting crime to make our streets safer, and funding the NHS to clear the Covid backlogs.