More training, employment and development opportunities for local residents and businesses are set to be developed, as set out in Crawley Borough Council's new Employment and Skills Programme.
Since the original plan was launched in 2016, the council has made significant progress, helping more than 200 local residents move closer to obtaining employment by improving their skills and employability needs. This tailored support, provided by Crawley Borough Council's Employ Crawley, has seen many residents achieve real progression, with 26 achieving permanent employment.
Employ Crawley also improves links between construction developers and education providers, via the Town Centre Skills Academy, which places apprentices on development sites across the town centre.
To support awareness of the wide ranging career pathways for young people, the inaugural Careers Fair held at K2 Crawley enabled students to meet with local businesses to help raise their aspirations for future career options. In addition, the council supports the delivery of STEMfest, an annual programme of outreach events designed to raise awareness of careers in STEM subjects.
However, the updated programme sets out plans to further develop and support the business and employment landscape as well as improving social mobility across the town.
- Creating and promoting new pathways for residents into Higher Education, Degree Apprenticeships to upskill Crawley residents so more people can access the higher skilled opportunities available within Crawley
- Help Crawley businesses overcome skills gaps through innovative new training courses, particularly in high level STEM
- Improving the employability of young people by facilitating access and awareness to key vocational skills, apprenticeships and work experience and bridging the gap between education and business
- Empower the most disadvantaged local residents through tailored advice, guidance and skills training, boosting employability and helping them to access core skills, qualifications and job opportunities
- Champion Crawley as a Living Wage Town, the wage set by the Living Wage Foundation, to increase income levels for residents
Crawley is currently almost bottom in social mobility rankings, with the State of the Nation report ranking Crawley 304th out of 324 local authorities for social mobility. However, to combat this, the council is looking to implement a programme of workshops, activities and outreach opportunities through Employ Crawley and partnership organisations that tackle the needs of residents, aiming to help raise their skills levels and support them with their journey towards and into employment.
Supporting the delivery of the programme is the council's new Employment and Skills Officer, Alison Constable who joined earlier this month.
Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, Councillor Peter Smith, said: "Crawley is a great place to live, work and do business and the council wants to ensure that local people and businesses get first pick of the opportunities that the town has to offer.
"We have made great strides since launching the first Employment and Skills Plan, but there is more to do and we are looking forward to building on our success so far.