My Wealden constituency has an unemployment rate of 0.8%, compared to a national rate of 2.4%
My Wealden constituency has an unemployment rate of 0.8%, compared to a national rate of 2.4%. Of the 650 parliamentary constituencies, only 45 have a lower proportion of people out of work. Though this is obviously good news, it masks a number of challenges faced by businesses and jobseekers. Local businesses can struggle to find candidates to fill job openings, especially when they are searching for specific skills or experience. And in a region which some people assume needs little economic support, those still looking for work can sometimes feel like they are forgotten.
That is why it is particularly great news that East Sussex is to benefit from £8.2 million of funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund, to help create new local employment opportunities across different industries. This boost to the regional economy is expected to result in an additional £13 million of private sector investment and approximately 1,000 new jobs. But to make sure that this investment reaps the biggest economic rewards, employers and potential employees need to match. The skills that jobseekers have must be the skills that employers are looking for.
Next month I will be sponsoring Hailsham Community College’s Careers Fair. As you would expect, this is a chance for students at the college to meet local businesses and find out about some of the opportunities open to them. My involvement stems from my role as chairman of the East Sussex Enterprise Advisers Network which links schools with advisers from the world of work who can come in and talk to students about their futures. But it is not just students who have futures. This year, I’m delighted that the Careers Fair is also open to parents who may also be looking for work, for a career change or for opportunities to upskill.
The same principle applies to apprenticeships. They are a great way to progress in work and life.