Responding to the result of the general election, the managing director of the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, Martin Hathaway, said:

“As a new Government is formed by Keir Starmer, we need to work in partnership with him to grow the economy, nationally and locally here in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield. The new Chancellor Rachel Reeves is well respected by Yorkshire businesses, and we are looking forward to hearing more about her plans to increase productivity.

“A long-term strategy is needed to enable sustainable growth. Business don’t want handouts, they want Government to create the right conditions nationwide for the economy to thrive.

“I hope that Labour can deliver on their manifesto promise of being pro-business and pro-worker.

“The Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce stands with the British Chambers of Commerce in their five-point plan for immediate action. Starmer must set out a framework of strong fiscal incentives and a plan to develop green skills, enabling green jobs and driving business investment; develop a long-term business rates strategy to encourage economic growth and investment in communities across the UK; develop a long-term business rates strategy to encourage economic growth and investment in communities across the UK, dedicate an AI Champion to spearhead uptake of latest technology amongst SMEs to boost productivity and competitiveness; and boost investment in skills, bringing businesses and training providers together to tackle skills shortages and support sustainable career opportunities for all.

“Focus on education and skills is vital to ensure the right people can fill vacancies in the right areas. This is a huge focus for us this year as we continue driving our Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPs) with the West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. The aim of this project is to ensure that skills providers and employers are connected, and that we can offer the right training and education for the jobs that are in demand in the right areas.

“But this cannot be done without central investment and commitment to improving our infrastructure. The labour market is heading in the right direction, with vacancies getting filled, but businesses are still telling us the skills they need aren’t there. We need to make sure our ambition is aligned with the Government, making sure young people are prepared for the real working world and that the right, skilled jobs are there for them.

“Labour’s promise of delivering a reliable, safe, efficient, accessible, affordable and quality transport system is very welcome, but action is needed now.

“Our region, and many others in the country have suffered with a poor public transport system and have been promised various public transport revamps but no solid result has come to fruition. Our people deserve to be able to get to and from work or school or enjoying our amazing local hospitality offerings without problems.

“I am looking forward to working with new local MPs and the Labour Government to ensure that we can create a strong, thriving economy with staying power.”