"We have over 8.45 million people in the UK aged between 16 and 64 who are economically inactive … We want businesses to invest in them, invest in skilling them up."

Priti Patel, BBC Breakfast

February 19, 2020

Facts

On BBC Breakfast, Priti Patel said: “We have over 8.45 million people in the UK aged between 16 and 64 who are economically inactive … We want businesses to invest in them, invest in skilling them up.” She suggested that one solution to staff shortages would be to train up the 8 million economically inactive. 

However, figures from the Office for National Statistics show that, of the 8.48 million people who are economically inactive, only 1.87 million were seeking work. Many of the 8.48 million people are students, carers, sick or retired.  For further details, see BBC’s Reality Check

Verdict

A hopelessly misleading statement by Priti Patel.

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