Jeremy Corbyn makes jobs pledge on visit to York

Jeremy Corbyn in York Credit: PA

The "vast majority" of the one million good quality jobs Labour has pledged to create would go to British workers, Jeremy Corbyn has suggested.

The Labour leader used a speech at York Science Park innovation centre to outline his industrial strategy, which will help create a million "good" jobsto "unleash the untapped potential of every part of the country" if his partywins the General Election.

His speech came ahead of a high-profile BBC One Question Time in the city, on which he and Prime Minister Theresa May will be grilled separately by voters.

It marked a further step in Mr Corbyn's effort to focus the election debate on domestic policy rather than the themes of leadership and Brexit favoured by the Tories.

He said Labour will build an economy where "everyone shares in our country's wealth".

Asked if he could guarantee that all or a proportion of the one million jobswould go to British workers, Mr Corbyn said after the speech:

They would obviously be for people looking for work, the vast majority will be for people coming out of our schools and our colleges and our universities, and we will not allow anyone to only recruit overseas for jobs here. They've got to recruit in an open way so that everyone gets a fair chance. So we will not be allowing companies to import an entire workforce from overseas. But we also have to have a relationship with the rest of the world, we have to maintain that close connection between the universities and industries. We're in the laboratory now, what's being discovered here, what's being researched here, similar kind of things are being done in all parts of the world. Science grows when scientists work together, not in isolation."

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn alongside Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey Credit: PA

Mr Corbyn highlighted Labour plans to pump £250 billion into industry through a new National Investment Bank and create a network of Regional Development Banks as well as a National Transformation Fund.

He said years of Conservative rule have resulted in stagnating productivity, falling public sector net investment and average wages forecast to be lower in real terms in 2021/22 than their 2007/08 level.

After Mr Corbyn spoke, shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey set out plans for an industrial strategy designed to:

  • Galvanise businesses around missions that tackle Britain's key challenges, from climate change to automation

  • Introduce cross-cutting policies to create a fertile ground for business to achieve these missions

  • Provide greater support to the sectors in which Britain has a comparative advantage