Helping those furthest from the workplace make the most of the employment opportunities available saw the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) host a one-day event hosted at Harlow College on Thursday September 27th.
The Delivering Inclusive Growth event featured a keynote address by Dame Carol Black, an expert advisor to the Department of Health who herself defied the expectations of her family and society to forge a highly successful career in medicine.
Alongside her were local MP Robert Halfon; Adam Jones, Chair of the Essex Employment and Skills Board; Angus Gray from the Department for Work and Pensions; and Laura Anderson of Jobcentre Plus.
They were joined by Neil Wood of Public Health England, the organisation responsible for protecting and improving the nation’s health and wellbeing, which recently announced Harlow’s New Frontiers Science Park will be its new headquarters and home to up to 2,750 people.
Christian Brodie, Chair of SELEP, which covers East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway Southend and Thurrock, opened the event.
He said: “Achieving inclusive growth, which will mean everyone in our society benefits from significant employment opportunities and businesses can secure the talent they need to grow, is at the heart of our recently launched Skills Strategy.
“We want to ensure those people who are furthest from the workplace – whether that be through social expectations, disability, mental health issues, access to support or whatever barriers they may be facing – receive all the support necessary to get them into employment.
“By also working with businesses, many of whom are struggling to find the right mix of skills, inclusive growth becomes a win-win for our community and our area’s economy, and we’d urge everyone to work with us to deliver it.”
Bringing people together
The Delivering Inclusive Growth event brought together a range of employers, local authorities, business support organisations and other partners to highlight the support available locally and discuss how SELEP can influence the provision of what is most needed in its area.
Speaking at the event, Robert Halfon MP said: “I’m delighted this event is being held here today because the skills revolution happening across Essex and the East of England can’t just benefit the few, it has to benefit the many.
“We have to have a huge emphasis on careers, helping all our children from primary school upwards to understand the importance of skills and apprenticeships to make sure they can climb the ladder of opportunity.
“We also have to support youth charities and youth organisations by investing money into them so they can help those young people who face difficulties climb that ladder too. And we must provide financial incentives to help companies and organisations like Harlow College work with those young people.”
Neil Wood, Health and Wellbeing Programme Manager, Public Health England – East of England, said: “We are very excited about our move to Harlow and will be fully open in 2024.
“There’s much that we can be thinking about and doing now in terms of promoting health, wellbeing and its importance to the world of work, and PHE is committed to working with our partners to deliver inclusive growth.”
SELEP skills strategy 2018 – 2023
A new five-year strategy to develop the skilled workforce needed to help the South East continue to grow and play its vital role in the UK economy has been launched by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP).
Developed with local businesses and education providers and supporting the Government’s Industrial Strategy and new national Careers Strategy, the SELEP blueprint is an employer and evidence-led statement of the skills and employment priorities needed to drive productivity and growth across the LEP area.
Please visit www.southeastlep.com for more information