The city council is set to publish an action plan aimed at bringing thousands of jobs into Brighton & Hove.
It follows publication in 2007 of the City Employment and Skills Plan. This revealed the city needs to create almost 8,500 jobs by 2017 to keep employment levels at a standstill and a further 8,000 new jobs to hit national targets of 80% employment.
Figures reflect likely population growth in the city, particularly among people of working age.
The new Business Retention and Inward Investment Strategy recommends a series of actions to be implemented with local partners. It aims to encourage companies to invest in the city and create the right conditions for them to do so. This means ensuring the right premises, skills and infrastructure.
Council research has identified a number of potential growth industries that need servicing. They are digital media, publishing, printing, reproduction of recorded media, environmental industries, health, creative industries and property activities.
Manufacturing is seen as a declining sector.
“Until now, with a buoyant global economy the approach had been more reactive than proactive,” said Cllr Ted Kemble, cabinet member for enterprise. “The aim is to ensure that we are responding to the ever-changing economic climate and are well positioned to support our local businesses.
“Now we need to go out and grab jobs with both hands. We must do all we can to make the city irresistible to investors. It’s already a place where people want to live. Let’s make it a hugely attractive place to work.”
A council ‘to-do’ list includes actively promoting the city to potential investors, researching business needs and working to meet them, plus ‘aftercare’ to ensure businesses stay and grow.
Meanwhile the city’s Economic Partnership has launched its latest economic strategy for the city.
Among its aims are to secure more high-paid jobs, work with the two local universities to support growth and ensure school leavers are fit for work. It also calls for transport to be improved and the right mix of housing and business premises.
Both reports are set to be discussed at Cllr Kemble’s next public meeting on employment, enterprise and major projects on March 23 at Hove Town Hall. The agenda can be found on the council’s website www.brighton-hove.gov.uk
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