Brighton & Hove City Council leader Brian Oxley has proposed a solution at least in part for Brighton’s unemployed population. There are plenty of jobs to be had in neighbouring boomtown Crawley.
The subject came up for discussion at a meeting with the leader of West Sussex County Council Henry Smith. Councillor Oxley observed that Crawley has a far higher number of jobs and vacancies head-for-head than Brighton & Hove.
He said, “Crawley has the jobs, we have the jobless. I’d like to explore ways in which the councils can work together to our mutual benefit.
“For example, despite the short distance it can be difficult to get to Crawley for anyone without a car. Railways involve a change at Three Bridges – either to another train for the town centre or another form of transport to the Industrial Estate.”
October figures show Crawley had 1700 unfilled vacancies and about 1700 unemployed people claiming Jobseekers Allowance.
By contrast, Brighton & Hove had about 1800 vacancies and over 4300 unemployed claimants.
Crawley has about 30% more jobs per head of population than Brighton & Hove. There is just under one job per person of working age in Brighton & Hove (0.9). The comparable figure for Crawley is 1.36.
Councillor Oxley said, “I’m going to explore with my counterparts at Crawley and West Sussex councils whether there’s anything we can do to help people find jobs and firms to fill vacancies. That would be good for the Sussex economy and good for individuals.”
Councillor Claire Denman, Crawley Council's portfolio holder for Planning and Economic Development, said, "The fact that we make up just 2% of the land area of West Sussex but collect 37% of the business rates shows just how Crawley's economy is booming. Gatwick Airport and a growing professional sector in legal, surveying and accountancy are opening up many jobs.
"Brighton & Hove residents already make many of the people who commute into Crawley each day to work. With national and international businesses based here, if you have the right skills there will be a job for you in Crawley."
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