We are working on a Skills Strategy

When it comes to jobs and career opportunities, Peterborough is a great place to live. Around 100,000 people in the city are working full-time, unemployment is falling and the number of residents claiming Jobseekers' Allowance is at its lowest level since 1992.

Saturday, 12th March 2016, 12:00 pm
John Holdich

As the city grows, so too will the number of companies and the people they employ. That’s great news, but it’s very important not to be complacent.

The employment market is ever-changing, and to really benefit from jobs growth in the future we need to make sure local residents, especially our young people, have the right skills.

Recent research shows that by 2022 there will be a strong demand for people in professional roles and at manager and director level, and fewer roles for administrators, tradespeople and manual workers. The demand for degrees is likely to increase by almost 30 per cent, while those with a doctorate or masters could see demand for their knowledge grow by up to 74 per cent.

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Meanwhile, those with no qualifications or low GCSE grades will find it increasingly challenging to find jobs.

That’s why we are working on a Skills Strategy to make sure that people in Peterborough have the right skills to be sought-after employees in the future.

We’re focusing on the core business sectors that make Peterborough their home, like engineering, food and drink, digital and creative, energy and environment, financial services and healthcare. The new Skills Strategy will be discussed at scrutiny next week.

We’ll be working with local employers to make sure they deliver training and apprenticeships, as well as with schools and colleges so that young people leave with the right skills to find and keep a great job locally.

Greater Peterborough University Technical College (GPUTC) will play a vital role in this when it opens in September, through its focus on specialist engineering skills.

And while we’re on the subject of engineering, you might have seen that one of Peterborough’s longest standing and best known employers, Perkins, this week announced that it will continue to support the city’s half marathon event.

The company will be lead sponsor for the Perkins Great Eastern Run for the next three years, which is fantastic news.

Huge thanks go out to Perkins. Without their support this event just couldn’t go ahead. It’s getting bigger and better every year, and if you haven’t taken part before, why not sign up this year at www.perkinsgreateasternrun.co.uk

My wife and I took part in the 2015 Anna’s Hope Fun Run, and the atmosphere on the day was absolutely wonderful.

Taking up running or walking is a great way to improve your health so let’s make this year’s Perkins Great Eastern Run another record breaker!

As the city expands we need to make sure our roads and other infrastructure are continually improved to cope with that growth.

I’m pleased to say that we’re very much on top of this, with another project due to start in May. We have been awarded £5million funding from the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership to improve the roundabout at Junction 20, where Paston Parkway meets Soke Parkway.

Adding lanes and traffic lights to the junction will get the roads ready for new housing at Norwood and Paston Reserve. New lighting and a quieter road surface will help improve things even further.