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Key role for Essex County Council in developing employment and skills

7 December 2016

Economic Growth
Narrowing the skills gap in the county is vital to maintain the county’s position as a major engine for UK growth and Essex County Council has a key role to play in this, according to Cllr Derrick Louis, Chairman of the Place Services and Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee.
Following an investigation by that Committee, which examined employment, skills, careers advice and welfare to work in Essex, the Council is writing to Government Ministers asking for greater powers to deliver schemes locally.

The Scrutiny Committee’s report ‘We can work it out’, concludes that Essex County Council is better placed to take the lead in providing employment and skills.

Essex County Council is at the heart of skills programmes in the county, working more closely with schools, businesses and employment services locally. The Council is lobbying the Government for greater independence to deliver more effective co-ordination and provision of employment, skills, careers advice, and welfare to work to deliver better outcomes for local residents and businesses.

Councillor Derrick Louis, Chairman of the Place Services and Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee, said: “Essex is a key engine for the UK’s economic growth as a number of innovative and forward thinking businesses invest in the county. We want to make sure that we have the skills these businesses need to continue to grow and prosper and that the people of Essex can play a role in and benefit from this growth.

“We want the people of Essex to share in the county’s growing economy and we want companies to be able to expand in Essex, safe in the knowledge that there is a skilled and enthusiastic workforce right on their doorstep. 

Having made our report to Cllr Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader of ECC and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Infrastructure and Partnerships, he has welcomed our report and agreed to take forward the relevant recommendations including supporting the Committee as it lobbies government.”