Why is it that people working in Crawley, that are resident in Crawley, earn £50 a week less than people that commute in to Crawley to work? And why is it that 36% of Crawley people are employed in management and professional occupations whereas nationally it is 44% and in the South East 50%? And why is it that the 78% of women that work in Crawley are paid £116 per week less than men (the average for Great Britain is £98.50)?
This data is properly sourced and, while it doesn’t tell a complete story on its own, does point up the fact that Crawley residents are being let down. We think that it is time that something was done about this and that is why we will shortly be launching the ‘Crawley Employment and Skills Plan 2015 – 2020’. Tackling these, often institutionalised, problems will not be easy and will not be solved by throwing money at it, but we recognise that we must make a start if we are to begin to turn this situation around.
We have already started talking to Schools, Colleges, Universities, Businesses, Funding sources and many others to put this plan together. It is an exciting, challenging and ambitious plan to start to bring together initiatives to improve people’s aspirations, to work with businesses to identify their needs and to improve the availability of opportunity for Crawley people. And it builds on our other policies like Town Centre Regeneration, delivering housing to meet Crawley’s needs and supporting our Crawley Businesses.
You will be able to get a copy of the plan in the next few days and you can see more details of the exciting things that we are doing to regenerate the Town centre at – www.regeneratingcrawley.org.uk.
We are working to bring these opportunities to all of our residents – please step up and get involved.
Cllr Peter Smith – Labour Ifield and Ifield West
Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development