“In Essex, our Growth plan identifies high growth sectors, some of which are consistent with the LEP’s strategic growth plan.
These include Advanced Manufacturing and Technology, Transport Ports and Logistics, Renewables and low carbon technologies, Health and Care, Creative & IT, and Construction, with 50,000 new homes in Essex required by 2021, construction still offers significant growth potential to the county.
This means that priority will be given to these sectors in terms of enabling mechanisms and funding support, obviously whilst also accepting that other industry and commerce sectors need to be supported to sustain their current growth profiles”.
“What about Further Education, our 16 to 24 year olds…
Essex universities and Further Educations have a major part to play in these growth plans, particularly with their responsibility to provide the talent and skills required by local and Essex based business. But in my opinion their focus needs to narrow towards employability criteria and meeting business needs, rather than providing courses and skills training that creates a funding footfall to balance their books, or attracts research grants to maintain their league table position.
We need to get closer as businesses to the Further Educations and Universities, and they need to let us in.
I asked a University principle recently how they compared to other Uni’s in terms of performance, their response was, very good our research ranking is Top 10,
What a about employability? I asked, their response…We don’t report on this as its poor in comparison to others!
In manufacturing we had a saying ‘you get what you measure’, we should measure and report employment success as a mandatory output in all levels of Education. We should allow students to consider this measure in their choice of University and Further Education provider, and this is something the Essex employment and skills board will look to work on”.
Tomorrows Blog will see Tim’s insight into Growth enablers… don’t miss it!