Views are being sought by Crawley Borough Council on a plan to help Crawley people access better quality jobs within the town.
The plan, which is in its final draft stage and is now open to public comment, aims to address skills gaps in the local workforce through four main projects – a Town Centre Skills Academy, Gatwick Skills Laboratory, Crawley Young Workers Scheme and Employ Crawley.
Through joint working with public and private partners, the council says the schemes will benefit both local people and businesses by addressing skills gaps, creating different routes to education and higher value jobs, empowering the most disadvantaged residents and promoting and enhancing the town’s Living Wage status.
Crawley is home to 3,000 active businesses which generate more than 89,000 jobs.But, despite the wealth of economic opportunities, Crawley residents hold fewer qualifications than the commuting workforce and therefore earn less due to limited access into management and professional careers. Addressing this gap, says the council, is vital to enabling local people to take advantage of the wealth of opportunities.
On average 22.7 per cent of the Crawley population hold a degree while the South East average is 39.1 per cent and the national average is 36 per cent. This is one reason holding local people back from management and professional roles, although there are a number of factors, and the programme recognises some of the issues Crawley people can face and attempts to offer different routes to suit different needs.
Cllr Peter Smith, cabinet member for planning and dconomic development, said: “As a Crawley councillor I want to see local people take advantage of the wealth of opportunities this town offers and to help everyone to achieve the best of their abilities.
“Many people have thriving careers in Crawley but all too often Crawley people are missing out somewhere along the line. There are many reasons for this, some very complex, but our plan hopes to overcome some of these issues while also working with key educators and businesses in the area to help residents achieve better jobs, pay and quality of life, wherever they can.”
“We’re very keen to know if residents and businesses think this draft plan can help them and that’s why we’ve extended the deadline until the end of January. I’d urge people to let us know what they think and to make suggestions or send in ideas to help improve our plan.”
To find out more and comment on the proposals visit www.crawley.gov.uk/consultation If you want to comment please fill in the short questionnaire which can be found on the web page by Sunday 31 January.