Stephen Crabb, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said the British Indians contribute immensely to the economy and culture….An exclusive column by Mr Crabb, who replaced Ian Duncan Smith in the post, for Asian Lite News
We are greatly fortunate as a nation to have so many people of various backgrounds working side-by-side to keep our economy vibrant during what is proving to be a challenging time globally.
I know that an issue on everyone’s minds at the moment is our position within the European Union, and how this might impact on our prosperity. I firmly believe that in order to achieve our ambitious targets we need to be part of Europe and reap the benefits of a stronger economy.
I was reminded of that last week in the latest labour market statistics showing the UK’s employment is now at a record high at over 74% – a fantastic achievement.
The number of Indian people working in Britain is now at a record high at over 800,000. This impressive statistic tells a story about the enduring contribution that the 1.26 million-strong Indian community make to British life.
Of course, this is part of a wider story. The UK and India have a unique friendship, as the world’s oldest democracy and largest democracy, and Indian culture has helped shape the identity of modern Britain.
But there is more we can do to help Indian people thrive in this country. That is why the UK Government has set itself the ambitious target of increasing employment in ethnic minority groups by 20 per cent by 2020, helping to ensure that life chances are extended to everyone no matter who they are or where they come from
This challenge is critical to achieving full employment, helping people achieve their aspirations, and ensuring that British business makes the most of the talent and potential that exists in all communities across the UK.
The Indian community is famous for its entrepreneurial spirit and we are making sure that 20,000 start-up loans are awarded to black and minority ethnic (BME) applicants by 2020, helping people with a business idea to become their own boss. After all, every Kiran Mazumdar Shaw needs to start somewhere!
I am committed to ensuring the Indian community continues to prosper in Britain. We’re on the side of hard-working Indian families, and I want to thank Asian Lite readers for their part in helping to make Britain great.