Plymouth City Council
Plymouth PL1 2AA
Plymouth's Plan for Jobs unveiled
Over 2,000 jobs over the next two years - that's the aim of Plymouth's Plan for Jobs.
A total of 19 projects will aim to create several thousand jobs as part of an innovative plan that brings together actions and commitments from city organisations to pump energy, motivation and substantial funding into the local economy to stimulate growth and jobs.
A task force involving key organisations including the Council, the University as well as Plymouth Community Homes and private business have been working since July to put together the plan which aims to:
- Create jobs for local people by unlocking or speeding up major development projects, including housing
- Help the city's unemployed gain skills and experience to help them get work as well as retain talented graduates
- Proactively sell the city, its businesses, its products and its people
- Unlock access to finance and provide support to enable jobs growth
- Use the Council's assets, influence and buying power to increase jobs by using local supply chains and local goods where possible.
Now a report outlining the projects in the Plan for Jobs and its overall aim is to be discussed at Cabinet on 15 January.
Council leader Tudor Evans, whose portfolio includes growth, said: "Anyone who has been unemployed or has someone in their family who is out of work knows the impact it can have on every aspect of a person's life and those around them. Confidence goes out the window, their health and mental wellbeing suffers, they have no money.
"We could sit back and blame the economic conditions, which would be true. We could confidently say that this is the Government's fault, but that does nothing to help Plymouth and its people.
"This, more than anything else we do, is showing how we are a cooperative council, how we will work with our partners across the city to do all we can for our community."
The plan is in addition to the city's existing Local Economic Strategy and focuses on what can be achieved within a relatively short period of time. It has been developed following the leader's 'call to arms' to address unemployment by creating new jobs.
A number of the projects are Council-led, including working to unlock land and major projects, paving the way for construction jobs as well as more long-term work opportunities.
As a major employer, purchaser of products and services and community leader, the Council will be working more to ensure it buys more locally. It will also shortly unveil plans to strengthen its economic development function so that the Council can increase efforts to attract inward investors as well as visitors to the city.
And in the next month the Council will announce a multi- million pound capital investment fund that will help fund key projects and support the city's wider economic ambitions.
Councillor Mark Lowry added: "We are currently finalising the detail of this, but it will be substantial and it will show real commitment from the Council to getting Plymouth back to work."
In October 2012 there were 6,300 claimants – 3.6 per cent of the city's working age population. The number of long-term unemployed - those claiming for benefits over a year has more than doubled since mid-2012 and the number of young people aged between18 and 24 years old claiming is now 34 per cent compared to 28 per cent nationally.
Clive Turner, Chief Executive of Plymouth Community Homes, who is also on the task force said: "Most people are aware of the huge regeneration of North Prospect, but through this Plan, council-owned sites will be brought forward for homes to be built on. These are sites which would not have come forward for development otherwise. Not only will this create new homes, but new jobs, new apprentices and also create new long-term construction skills which are vital for the city's future."
The Plan For Jobs is a significant combined effort to tackle unemployment and is both wide-ranging and innovative in approach, from the creation of a new Apprenticeship Training Agency and 1,000 club, which will together provide over 400 new apprenticeships in the city, to financial support and premises for hundreds of fledgling businesses through the Urban Enterprise, Outset Finance and the Plymouth University and Western Morning News Growth Fund.
4 January 2013