The Council is committed to enabling new skills and employment initiatives that can help local residents access more and better quality jobs. In March we launched the Council’s Employment and Skills Plan for the Borough and last Wednesday saw the start of one element of our plan, with the ‘Crawley/Gatwick Be the Change’ launch event. This programme is aimed at young people who for one reason or another may be disengaged at school and is designed to help them make the most of their individual qualities so that they can have bright and successful futures. It brings together pupils from Crawley schools and, crucially, Crawley businesses in an innovative and highly successful program that will really make a difference for the pupils concerned. We are pleased to support this programme in Crawley (LoveLocalJobs.com) and thank the local businesses that are supporting it.
We are also actively securing commitments from developers and construction contractors to take on as many Crawley residents as possible into jobs and apprenticeships arising from Crawley’s regeneration. As one example I was delighted recently to sign the ‘Crawley Developer and Partner Charter’ with Mildren Construction, who are developing the Wickes site in Manor Royal. Signing the charter represents a commitment to Crawley including aiming to source labour locally as well as supporting locally based businesses and is part of our determination to support Crawley businesses. Our success in persuading developers in Crawley to sign up to the Charter is a key part of our Employment and Skills plan as we seek to improve opportunities for all Crawley residents.
And on a larger scale we are also working with the C2C Local Enterprise Partnership and other stakeholders to progress plans for a “Skills Laboratory” to design new skills training courses that will help local employers fill skills gaps and recruit local people.
The Council is the only organisation that speaks for the whole of Crawley, including our residents and businesses, and it is the Labour administration’s determination to take action on employment and skills that is making a difference. These are just some of the ways that we are delivering for Crawley residents and businesses and there is more to come!
Cllr Peter Smith – Labour Ifield and Ifield West
Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development