Peter Lamb column: More and better jobs for the people of Crawley

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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. It brings together pupils from Crawley schools and, crucially, Crawley businesses in an innovative and highly successful program that will really make a difference. We are pleased to support this programme (LoveLocalJobs.com) and thank the businesses that support 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. 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 and supporting local 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.

Contributed by Leader of Crawley Borough Council Cllr Peter Lamb