The new strategies have been agreed by the council’s Executive and will now be pushed forward as a key priority as part of the economic revival in response to the challenges and opportunities presented by the coronavirus crisis. The new Economic Plan sets out a set of 15 commitments designed to create new jobs, bring in investment, generate opportunities for young people, address North Somerset skills gaps, and look to upskill individuals who are facing redundancy.
The council is prioritising economic renewal activity around three key pillars:
- providing inclusive growth and wellbeing for North Somerset people
- delivering digital access for all
- supporting green business and low carbon activities.
One of the commitments from the new Economic Plan is to launch an Employment and Skills Strategy. This will focus on:
- empowering young people to achieve their potential
- addressing under-employment and low pay
- supporting those with barriers to employment
- developing workforces’ skills for emerging jobs
- creating conditions which enable businesses to attract and keep the talent they need.
These plans build on the delivery of a package of immediate support put in place over the summer, which includes:
- public outdoor seating which runs until mid-October in town centres and supports local retail, creates space for the public to reconnect post lockdown and encourages visits to our towns
- the launch of a Made in North Somerset Market Place which provides a selling platform for food, drink and creative businesses whose products are made, grown, reared or produced in North Somerset
- investment in town centres to develop their own business-led virtual high streets to increase resilience and reach more customers
- the introduction of a North Somerset wide cultural programme to enliven our town centres, encourage people to visit and support our local economy
- a universal pre-start, early growth and business support service, delivered with the West of England Growth Hub and set up to help anyone looking to start their own business.
Cllr Mark Canniford, executive member for business, economy and employment at North Somerset Council, said: “The new strategies are the culmination of hard work across North Somerset and beyond to bring about sustainable economic growth, generate opportunities for investment and create new jobs locally.
"We want to make sure that North Somerset rebuilds its economy in a sustainable, resilient way to make a difference to those negatively affected by the results of the pandemic.”