New UK jobs figures show "progress on all fronts", says the Conservative Party's employment spokesman in Brussels.
Anthea McIntyre pointed to falling unemployment in tandem with rising wages as clear evidence that government policies were transforming Britain's jobs landscape.
Welcoming the latest employment statistics Miss McIntyre, Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, said: "We have let entrepreneurs and innovators get on with what comes naturally and that has produced a climate where jobs are created, work is worthwhile and the nation gets busy.
"It is particularly heartening that employment among the younger, disabled and ethnic minority workforce is increasing along with the rest. This jobs revival is something no Labour government has ever produced - and its benefits are being felt right across society.
"People have the dignity of work, that work is putting more money in their wage packets and our tax reforms are sending more of that cash straight to their pockets.
"Wherever you look things are moving in the right direction. Our opponents can criticise all they like but the figures don't lie."
Anthea McIntyre MEP has welcomed the announcement that a string of West Midlands companies have been honoured as part of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
They are among more than 200 selected nationally for their entrepreneurship and Miss McIntyre, Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, hailed them as an example of Staffordshire's entrepreneurial spirit.
The companies are Prometheus Medical, Semantics 21, Spectra Group, Synectics Solutions, Thorax Lighting and Warwick Music, which were honoured for innovation; and Allett, Aviation News, C Brandauer & Co, John Martin Design Associates, Leeson Polyurethanes, Proto Labs, REPL Group Worldwide, Seada Technology, The Helping Hand Company, The Lawton Tube Co which won awards for international trade.
Three-quarters of this year’s winners are small or medium-sized businesses. Miss McIntyre, Conservative employment in the European Parliament, said: "This demonstrates that the UK is one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business."
This was down to the environment created by the Conservative Government and its modern Industrial Strategy which enhanced support already provided, she said.
The winners will receive their awards at a Buckingham Palace reception, where their contribution to the UK economy will be celebrated. These awards recognise businesses for their contribution in four categories, with winners including:
129 International Trade winners
61 Innovation winners
6 Sustainable Development winners
5 Promoting Opportunity winners
Miss McIntyre said: “I am delighted these wonderful companies have been recognised by Her Majesty The Queen with such prestigious awards.
“They are a proud example of our region, making a huge contribution not just to the West Midlands region, but as an innovative and talented businesses to our growing economy as a whole.
“The Conservatives are working hard to create the best possible environment to start and grow businesses, and I’m delighted that these businesses are recognised for their hard work.”
West Midlands MEP Anthea McIntyre has launched a scathing attack on a proposed directive on "Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions" which she says is rushed through and will unfairly hit small businesses and the self-employed.
Miss McIntyre, Conservative employment spokesman in the European Parliament, said the measures - already agreed in three-way negotiations between the EU Council, Commission and Parliament, would not bring any real benefit to workers but would have damaging consequences for small b businesses especially.
In condemning the report by Spanish MEP Calvet Chambon, from Alliance of Liberal Democrats in Europe, she said: "Throughout my time here in the Parliament and in the Employment Committee I have championed better regulation.
"And this is not better regulation. It is a mad rush to conclude legislation at any cost, so we have abandoned our commitment to the Parliament text on this directive."
Miss McIntyre, who this week received an award from the European Taxpayers Association for her parliamentary work to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), said the proposed directive was particularly unfair because it allowed exceptions for state employers.
Speaking in Strasbourg, she said: "This will allow governments and civil services to exempt themselves from the very rules they will be compelling small business to follow."
"This is scandalous hypocrisy through unfair preference, unfair treatment, unfair competition. In ordinary language, a stitch up."
Jo Hilditch, the woman who turned down the dragons of Dragon's Den, joined the Herefordshire Conservative Business Breakfast Forum, (HCBF), as the guest speaker, at the Harewood End Inn.
She is a Deputy Lieutenant of Herefordshire and Managing Director of Whittern Farms and White Heron Brands Ltd
Mrs Hilditch was born and bred in Herefordshire and explained that as a child she grew up on the family farm. In her 20s she travelled the world, started a number of small businesses and spent some time in public relations, including jobs with Countrywide Communications and Powerhouse PR.
After marrying she returned to work on the farm with her father, following the death of her brother.
She applied her PR background and was keen to diversify. This expanded the business into chicken production, growing blackcurrants for Ribena, cider apples for Bulmers and a self-catering tourism operation with 70 beds.
Mrs Hilditch told the forum how she had directed the company through ups and downs in the last 20 years. While mistakes had been made, she had continually identified opportunities for grant funding and diversification - which led to her most famous product, British Cassis.
She told the group how she was encouraged to appear on Dragon’s Den as a platform for her cassis, and ended up refusing the offer made by three dragons because she did not like their terms.
She subsequently rebranded the product and it has gone from strength to strength. It was now a premium British liquor and sold as the “drink of choice” in the Royal Academy, she said.
Asked about challenges faced, she said: “Farming is a male-orientated industry, and being female has led to much prejudice along the way. Other challenges affecting farming include employment, the environment, Brexit and of course the unknown”.
Anthea McIntyre MEP, Chairman of the forum, later said: “Jo is a brilliant entrepreneur and a great ambassador for women in agriculture.”
Anthony Snell thanked the speaker and said: "Jo has an interesting, diverse background and her British Cassis is uniquely healthy and well marketed. We loved watching Dragons Den and how you turned them down.”
West Midlands MEP Anthea McIntyre has warmly welcomed today's announcement by Jaguar Land Rover of large-scale investment in its plant at Caste Bromwich.
The money will make the factory ready for producing the next generation of electric cars, a move which the Conservative MEP described as a massive vote of confidence.
Miss McIntyre said: "Some recent announcements about JLR's activity in the West Midlands have sadly not been so positive - but these have largely been cyclical changes or responses to shifting market dynamics.
"The fundamentals of the company - its skills base and its expertise in engineering and technological advance - are still of the best. The Jaguar and Land Rover brands remain synonymous with excellence, quality and style and so what we see here is the company retooling to take those brands into a new and exiting era.
"It is a massive vote of confidence in the region and its workforce, an one that secures hundreds of jobs."
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