The Prime Minister, Chancellor and Secretary of State for Wales visited the Airbus factory in Broughton earlier today.

During the visit they saw the impacts of investment on jobs in the region and while Boris Johnson said people can expect whoever succeeds him in Downing Street will provide further help with the cost-of-living.

The ministers met a number of apprentices and discussed how improving skills and job prospects can drivie economic growth and what the government terms "levelling up" across the Uk, its agenda aimed at reducing regional inequalities.

In response to the latest GDP figures out today, which show the economy contracting by 0.1% in the three months to June, the Chancellor reaffirmed that it is his “top priority” to work alongside the Bank of England to get inflation under control and grow the economy.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with Airbus apprentices during a visit to the Airbus UK East Factory in North Wales. Picture date: Friday August 12, 2022. (Images - PA)Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to the Airbus UK East Factory in North Wales. Picture date: Friday August 12, 2022.

 

The visit comes as stats show that over 7 million bank accounts across the UK have received the first £326 cost of living payment, with a further £324 to come in the autumn. Tax changes in July are also said to represent savings of £396 million across households this year after National Insurance premiums increased in April.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “It is companies like Airbus who are driving forward economic growth, levelling up and supporting thousands of highly skilled jobs for people up and down the United Kingdom.

“It was fantastic to visit their Broughton site in north Wales - the world’s largest wing manufacturing plant - to see their work in action and hear from apprentices at the start of their careers at Airbus.

“We will continue to help people across the country to find good jobs and support them through the cost of living challenges.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with Airbus apprentices during a visit to the Airbus UK East Factory in North Wales. Picture date: Friday August 12, 2022. (Images - PA)Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim during a visit to the Airbus UK East Factory in North Wales. Picture date: Friday August 12, 2022.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi said: “It’s great to be here in Wales to meet such enthusiastic and talented apprentices. 

“I know times are tough and people in Wales are concerned about rising prices. That’s why the government is providing an unprecedented £37 billion worth of support to help households, including a £400 discount on energy bills for every household in Wales this winter.  

“But it’s important to remember there are pockets of optimism – the unemployment rate in Wales is at a historically low level, and businesses like Airbus are announcing huge new investments, which will boost people’s prospects in the region.

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“The UK recovered strongly from the pandemic, with the fastest growth in the G7 last year, and I’m confident that we can also overcome the global challenges we now face. “

The UK's economic performance, and economic recovery following Covid, is related to the country having suffered greater economic shock from the virus and lockdowns than many other developed nations.

Secretary of State for Wales Robert Buckland said: “During extremely challenging times, the UK Government is focused on growing the economy and increasing opportunity for people across Wales.

“Alongside the support we are providing to Welsh households, it is fantastic to see a company like Airbus investing in its workforce with its plans to create 550 jobs, build on its apprenticeship programme and boost its production facilities in Broughton.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with Airbus apprentices during a visit to the Airbus UK East Factory in North Wales. Picture date: Friday August 12, 2022. (Images - PA)Prime Minister Boris Johnson listens to Head of Broughton plant at Airbus Jerome Blandin (left) with Secretary of State for Wales Robert Buckland (centre) during a visit to the Airbus UK East Factory in North Wales. Picture date: Friday August 12, 2022.

Airbus Senior Vice President and Head of Broughton Plant, Jerome Blandin, said: “It was fantastic for the Prime Minister, Chancellor and Secretary of State for Wales to visit our site in Broughton today and meet some of our wonderful staff.

“Airbus has invested heavily in its workforce and facilities in north Wales, the South West and around the UK, contributing significantly to the government’s levelling up agenda. We have trained more than 1,100 apprentices over the last ten years and spend about £250 million each year on Research and Development here in the UK. 

“In May, Airbus announced an increase in the production rate of our single aisle commercial aircraft to an unprecedented 75 A320 Family aircraft per month by November 2025. For the UK, this means we will increase our workforce in north Wales by 550 and invest an additional £100 million in additional production facilities by 2025 to meet this increased global demand.”

The Airbus factory has been based in north east Wales for more than 40 years.