Archive for April, 2013

Backing business, creating jobs

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

""Creating jobs and the right conditions for economic growth remains the County Council’s top priority. While the national economy remains weak, it is essential we put maximum effort into stimulating economic growth here in Staffordshire. The end result – jobs, better wages, more opportunity – is better outcomes for local people. There have been some hugely positive signs of late, for instance at i54 South Staffordshire where Jaguar Land Rover is now investing over £500m in its new engine plant, which will create 1,400 new jobs. Work is also underway at the Redhill Business Park outside Stafford, promising 2,500 more jobs. And negotiations with Government on our joint City Deal bid with Stoke-on-Trent Council  are moving at pace – again aiming to create tens of thousands of jobs over the next decade.

I was up at Keele University Science & Business Park this morning to debate these issues with business and education representatives. We had a lively discussion about a huge range of topics, including the steps that the County Council can take to support business, attract investment, and ensure local people have the skills to seize new jobs as they are created.

It was clear to me that there is a huge amount of work that we are already doing in partnership with business and others, but there is an awful lot more to do. We are moving in the right direction, but if Staffordshire is to become the economic powerhouse we want it to be, we have to keep our collective foot to the floor on work to bolster businesses, help residents find work or training, and ensure we promote Staffordshire as the forward thinking, innovative and creative county that we know it to be. That remains our challenge in the months and years ahead.