More than 500 government jobs will be created in Stoke-on-Trent over the next five years in a new Government drive to move civil service posts to the Midlands.

Priti Patel has revealed the Home Office will open an Immigration Caseworking Innovation Centre in the city.

The move will see 50 new case worker jobs created and 200 roles established within an asylum co-ordination hub.

But the Home Secretary said that number would increase to around 560 by 2025 as the centre expanded. The new roles will include operational IT, policy and corporate functions positions.

At the moment, the Home Office currently employs just ten people in Stoke-on-Trent - out of a total workforce of 3,500.

"We're going to be starting off with some specialist case worker roles. This is an example of how innovative this government is being around issues like immigration which people in Stoke-on-Trent feel so strongly about.

"These are the people's priorities we campaigned on, getting three Conservative MPs elected in Stoke-on-Trent in 2019.

"This isn't just about reallocating existing civil service jobs from London. We are going to be creating opportunities for young people in Stoke-on-Trent, with an apprentice-first policy and a career ladder to support social mobility.

"There will be jobs in cutting-edge technology, the sort of technology which will ensure we can deliver the big reforms which are needed."

It it not yet known where the facility will be located or when it will open but Home Office officials are in the process of securing cash to fund the project.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader Abi Brown said: "We're really pleased the Home Office has recognised the huge opportunities in Stoke-on-Trent – and we're keen to start talking to them about potential locations for this exciting development.

"Over the last few years, we've worked hard to change perceptions of our city and are proud of the big strides we've made."

The move forms part of a cross-party initiative - the Places for Growth scheme - to open up almost 3,000 Civil Service roles outside London and the South East by 2025, to ensure policy-makers reflect the communities they serve.

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