"There's no point in creating new high paid and high skilled jobs if people living in the Basildon Borough don't have the skills to apply for them." That's the view of the Leader of Basildon Council as councillors approved to develop an industrial strategy focussing on access to employment and skills for Basildon residents at last night's meeting of the Infrastructure and Inclusive Growth Committee.

The aim of the strategy is to address issues such as the growth in the borough not being inclusive, with a large number of residents not having the skills to take advantage of the highly paid jobs. Wages for local residents are lower than the Essex average while workplace earnings are higher than the Essex average with over 36,000 people travelling into Basildon to work each day to fill these jobs.

Councillor Gavin Callaghan, the Leader of Basildon Council, said: "What is an industrial strategy? It's fancy talk for assessing what skills our businesses need and what investment needs to go into schools and adult training to ensure that people can go from education to the work place and earn enough money to provide for their family and maximise their potential. It's a common sense policy that the Council is now delivering."

Councillor Adele Brown, Chairman of the Infrastructure and Inclusive Growth Committee, added: "Through recent research we have commissioned, we now have a strong evidence base for what are the strengths, threats and weaknesses to the Basildon economy and the skills that businesses and residents need now and in the future.

"Now the work starts on how we mitigate the threats and challenges in the best possible way to ensure that Basildon can build on its strengths and take forward the opportunities. Having a comprehensive industrial strategy is the best way of achieving this.

"We will be developing the Education and Skills chapter of the Strategy over the next couple of months followed by chapters on supporting infrastructure and the business environment which are also important parts of achieving inclusive future economic growth benefitting all our residents and businesses."

Ends.

Published on Monday 22 July 2019