Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
UK employment rate hits record high 74 per cent
Official figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions has found the UK has reached its highest ever employment rate of 74 per cent, with a record high of 31.4 million people in work.
The data show that over the last year, more than half-a-million more people are now employed, whilst wages have grown by two per cent. Furthermore, the number of vacancies has reached over 750,000, suggesting the extent of the opportunities that are being created in the economy.
Unemployment stands at 5.1 per cent, the lowest figure since 2006, with long-term unemployment declining by 25 per cent to 488,000, the lowest in six years.
Priti Patel, employment minister, said: “This is a record-breaking set of figures – and has got 2016 off to a fantastic start.
“There are now more people in work than ever before and wages are growing – a credit to hardworking Brits and businesses alike. And in a further demonstration of the strength of the UK labour market, today’s figures show there are a record three quarters of a million vacancies.
“As a one nation government we will build on this throughout the coming year – doubling childcare for working parents and introducing the new National Living Wage – ensuring that everyone has increased financial security and the opportunity to get on and succeed in life.”