CHRIS MANN: The good news of 400 new jobs being created at Babraham Institute where the Government has put in £44 million to the research campus, and we have to contrast that with the bad news, particularly in Peterborough, where 1,500 temporary winter contracts have come to an end, and people there are seeking new work. Let’s put it in perspective now. The Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce John Bridge joins me live. John, good evening to you.
JOHN BRIDGE: Yes. Good evening Chris.
CHRIS MANN: Quite sharp, isn’t it, the contrast between the top end where skilled workers are very much wanted in this county, and the bottom end where others, well, their work comes and goes?
JOHN BRIDGE: Well I think that we need to look at it in a balanced way. Because particularly temporary jobs over the Christmas period has been something that is part of our economy over many years. And clearly we know and understand that. We’re really pleased that of course we’ve attracted Amazon and Royal Mail into Peterborough in such a big way, which obviously has created a situation where there has been an extraordinary amount of short-term jobs for people, but that has made a real difference to the people that got those jobs, and were able to earn that money over that period. And therefore we have to understand that that has been a real benefit to them and to the economy in Peterborough. But we must understand that Peterborough overall is driving forward in a very positive way, and in the last twelve months, although we’re going to lose those temporary jobs, there’s been well over 3,000 additional jobs created by businesses who are there and inward investment. And so the actual job situation is increasing and improving, and the economy is driving forward in a very positive way, in the same way that the Cambridge situation.
CHRIS MANN: And what does it take to bring jobs to this county? Is it the fact that we have skilled workers here?
JOHN BRIDGE: I think the key thing is that we have a very pro-growth attitude and approach, and the key thing is that with people that want to invest and come, they need to know and understand that all the people that they deal with and the local authorities in particular are actually going to cooperate and help them to invest and develop their businesses. And they see the whole of Cambridgeshire including Peterborough in particular as a very pro-growth agenda that’s being run, and that in particular the help that they get when they want to come and develop and spend their money in developing a business.
CHRIS MANN: John Bridge, thank you so much for joining us. Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce.
17:14 Wednesday 11th January 2012
Drive BBC Radio Cambridgeshire