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Unemployment drops by 15,000

Unemployment has dropped by 15,000 in Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire over the last year. Two and a half million more people in our region are now in employment than they were in December 2013. The figures released today by the Office for National Statistics also reveal that the number of people participating in apprenticeships has increased by 4.7% per cent in our region.

Minister backs knighthood for Gary Verity

A knighthood should be considered for Gary Verity, the tourism chief who helped bring the Tour de France to Yorkshire, the Culture Secretary has suggested.

Yorkshire hosted the first two stages of the 2014 tour.

Tory Cabinet member Sajid Javid insisted the event has been a "great thing for Yorkshire", as he was pressed to back a campaign to give a knighthood to Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome To Yorkshire.

Speaking in the Commons, Tory backbencher Philip Davies (Shipley) told Mr Javid: "After the great success of the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire last year, which gave an estimated £100 million boost to the Yorkshire economy, are you as excited as everybody else in Yorkshire is about the route next week being declared for the Tour de Yorkshire - the new international cycling race which is being introduced?

"And would you like to join me in congratulating Gary Verity for the role he's played in organising this, as well as bringing the Tour de France to Yorkshire, and support my campaign for him to receive a knighthood in the next honour's list?"

The Culture Secretary replied: "I agree very much with you. I remember visiting the Tour myself and being hugely impressed by the turnout, participation by people of all ages in terms of spectator sport and it's been a great thing for Yorkshire. I think the new initiative is very welcome. The comments you've made about Gary Verity, I very much agree with you in terms of what he achieved for Yorkshire and it should be looked at."

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Figures reveal number of workplace deaths and injuries

New figures show that 17 people lost their lives while at work in Yorkshire in 2013-14, and 7422 suffered injury. This compares to 15 deaths and 7649 injuries the previous year.

Statistics were also released today showing the scale of workplace illness. Across the region more than 110,000 people were estimated to have been made ill through their work over the same period.

The latest figures show that those involved in construction, manufacturing and waste and recycling are most at risk, with agriculture another industry where sustained improvement is needed.

The families of the workers in our region who lost their lives last year have just had to spend the festive period without their loved ones. Sadly there were two more deaths in the region than the previous year but the overall trend is downwards. The decrease in the injury figures should be welcomed and does offer some encouragement that we are continuing to head slowly in the right direction, but there is scope for more improvement. We can still go further and challenge the industries where there is room to do more to protect worker safety.

– John Rowe, Head of Operations for HSE in Yorkshire and the Humber

Race against time to save collieries

The owners of Thorseby and Hatfield collieries are facing a race against time to save what is left of the coal industry.

Thoresby Colliery Credit: ITV Yorkshire

UK Coal has confirmed that it will submit a bid to the government later this week for £300 million of state aid to rescue Thoresby Colliery in North Nottinghamshire from closure, along with Kellingley in North Yorkshire.

Hatfield Colliery, which is owned by its employees, is also preparing to seek a taxpayer bailout. But the appeal for funds must be approved by the Coalition before the general election in May.

Read: Talks to secure funding for mines

Yorkshire is 'Hollywood of England'

TV and film producers have dubbed Yorkshire and the Humber as the "Hollywood of England". The area is becoming one of the most sought after destinations for production. Over the last couple of year there has been a vast rise in filming especially recently with feature films like "Dad's Army" in Bridlington and the newest multi-million pound blockbuster "Hunters Prayer". Our reporter Sarah Clark has been given exclusive access to go behind the scenes and find out why so many film makers are choosing our region.

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Eric Morecambe back in place thanks to Yorkshire sculptor

The statue of Eric Morecambe, which was damaged in October when it was wrenched from its plinth, is back in place tonight thanks to the Yorkshire sculptor who first made it. The bronze likeness was lifted back into place by crane this morning, after the act of vandalism forced its removal from the sea front in the Lancashire resort which bears his name. Damon Green reports.

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