ACTION is being taken to bridge the skills gap for business in Staffordshire as the economy continues to grow, say council bosses.
Ben Adams, Staffordshire County Council’s leader for learning and skills, said Staffordshire has one of the fastest growing local economies, with a growing number of businesses creating skilled high quality jobs.
Fresh Job Seekers Allowance claimant figures show a decrease in the county of 4.6 per cent between June and July, currently standing at 1.4 per cent. This is below both regional (3 per cent) and national (2.3 per cent) averages.
Over the last 12 months, Staffordshire has seen a decrease in JSA claimants of 40.2 per cent.
Mr Adams said: “A report by the Prince’s Trust and HSBC published last week states 40 per cent of British firms are experiencing difficulties filling vacancies.
“The Prince’s Trust report highlights a national issue which we are working hard to address in Staffordshire.
“Working with the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Enterprise Partnership and education providers, we set up an education and skills trust which is leading on the development of an engineering and manufacturing hub.
“This hub will be up and running in less than a month in Tamworth and Newcastle and the £7million growth deal funding for skills will support the rest of the county over the next few years.
“We are continuing to work with business and the permanent skills partnership centre at i54 South Staffordshire will be in operation soon after the new Jaguar Land Rover plant opens later this year. We are also working with our universities to ensure graduates can make the most of the increasing opportunities here.”
Careers and learning advice in Staffordshire can be found at www.youthbox.info or www.nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk