Keir Starmer announces plans to drive growth by cutting waiting lists and unlocking opportunity

This week’s conference will highlight Labour’s laser-like focus on growing the economy in every party of the country so that we can get Britain’s future back. 

The change Labour offers is a mission-driven government taking decision for the long term to end sticking plaster politics and turn the page on 13 years of low growth and high taxes under the Tories. 

Keir Starmer’s speech on Tuesday will set out the first steps of how we will deliver our five missions. Two of those first steps for national renewal are how we help people get back into work by cutting waiting lists and how we reform technical education to give people the skills they need for the future. 

On technical education, Labour will power growth in every part of Britain by transforming existing FE colleges into new specialist ‘Technical Excellence Colleges’. The proposals will give communities the chance to fit skills to the needs of the local economy and empower business to play a bigger role in the skills revolution. 

With Labour’s plans, local government will work hand-in-hand with local businesses and employers to align skills and training provision with local need and real job opportunities. 

‘Technical Excellence Colleges’ would be based on a number of criteria including additional investment from local businesses and improved links to local universities. Bids will be assessed by Skills England to make sure local skills plans meet national strategic priorities to grow the economy and reskill people in the jobs of the future. 

The plans will unlock opportunity for people right across Britain and meet the demands of businesses who have been calling for improved skills training. 

On waiting lists, Labour will get the NHS doing more out of hours work to get patients treated faster.

The plan will enable the NHS to provide an extra 2 million operations, scans, and appointments in the first year. Labour is pledging to invest an extra £1.1 billion to provide NHS staff overtime to work evening and weekend shifts, so procedures can be carried out. 

Labour’s plan will see neighbouring hospitals pooling their staff and using shared waiting lists, so they are working more efficiently together and making the best use of available capacity. Patients will be given the choice to travel to a nearby hospital to get treated on an evening or weekend, rather than wait longer. 

The plan to get the NHS working out of hours to clear waiting lists follows the announcement of Labour’s Fit For The Future Fund, which would provide enough investment to double the number of CT and MRI scanners in the NHS over the course of a Parliament.