A 10-year masterplan to help Wigan Borough residents gain the right skills to achieve improved career aspirations has been launched.
Developed in partnership with local businesses and education providers, the framework sets out the Wigan Council’s ambitions for a thriving future economy.
The Employment and Skills Strategy also reflects feedback from the council’s Big Listening Project when residents said they wanted access to better employment and training opportunities.
Leader of the council, Coun David Molyneux, said: “The strategy is a forward-thinking plan outlining how we will achieve our ambitions by working with our partners over the next decade.
“Whether it’s improving access to careers guidance, delivering higher level skills or better connecting businesses to schools and training providers, this allows us to build on our existing partnerships so we can respond to local challenges both now and in the future.”
The strategy maps out how the objectives outlined in the Deal 2030 will be met, with economic growth that benefits everyone included as one of its 10 key ambitions.
It is underpinned by five pillars. They are:
1. Skills for productivity: closing the skills gap and increasing employment opportunities in high-growth, high-value sectors
2. Demanding employers: encouraging our business base to be more enterprising and providing businesses with intelligence on future trends impacting skills needs
3. Supply that delights and delivers: making it easier for employers to understand and engage with suppliers
4. Daring to aspire and achieve: embedding learning and upskilling as routing behaviours throughout working lives
5. Learning for life: enabling re-training opportunities and developing transferable skills to ensure career flexibility
Coun Molyneux, whose portfolio brief includes economic growth and improving skills, added: “The Employment and Skills Strategy places a high-focus on entrepreneurialism so the borough can attract and retain younger generations of the workforce.
“Our new approach will help us to nurture and encourage ambition, keep talent in our borough and provide better opportunities.
“It will also build on existing strengths including the borough’s location, the cohort of engaged businesses and partnership working in order to look to the future so we can continue to position Wigan as an economically thriving district in the North West.
“The borough’s unemployment rate is less than three per cent, which is much better than the regional and national averages.
“Although this is extremely positive, we remain committed to supporting our residents into work and also improving the quality of jobs available to them.”
The strategy was launched at a business breakfast event held at the Edge Conference Centre today (Wednesday 4 March) during National Careers Week.
For more information, search ‘Employability and Skills Strategy’ on www.wigan.gov.uk and click ‘documents’.