A DRIVE to create better skilled and better paid jobs remains the focus in Staffordshire as the county continues to maintain near full employment.
Figures issued today show that in Staffordshire just two per cent of the local population claims out-of-work benefits. This is lower than both regional (3.7 per cent) and national (2.8 per cent) figures.
The county council is working closely with the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, district and borough councils and a range of other organisations to increase the number of skilled jobs, particularly in its main industry sectors.
Across the LEP area since 2011, 58,000 jobs have been created. In the same period of time wages have risen by 13.5 per cent. In 2017/18 there were a total of 2,750 apprenticeships across the LEP area. The LEP’s advanced manufacturing and engineering skills hubs, which are delivered through colleges and businesses across the county, supported 371 apprentices in September 2018.
Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said: “Better skilled jobs are being created across the county and we are continuing to attract business investment at sites like i54 South Staffordshire, Redhill and Liberty Park in Lichfield.
“We want to ensure local people can take advantage of the opportunities being created and so it is vital that they have the skills to meet employers’ needs. Our colleges and business training providers are doing an important job in preparing people for the jobs market. The advanced manufacturing and engineering skills hub uses the latest industry technology and has established links with businesses. It is a real success story and continues to make a difference both to the learners and to our businesses.”