Agenda item

Delivering the Jobs and Growth Strategy - End of Year Progress (16/17) and end of current 3-year Strategy (2014-17)

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Place)


Note: A briefing note detailing the Business, Economy and Enterprise Scrutiny Board (3)’s consideration of this matter is available on page 93.


The Cabinet considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Place), which provided the end of year progress for 2016/17 and end of current 3-year strategy 2014-17, in respect of the Jobs and Growth Strategy.


The Jobs and Growth Strategy for Coventry was endorsed in May 2014.  It was the second 3-year Jobs and Growth Strategy the Council had published and played a key role in driving growth, investment and creating the opportunity for local people to share in the growth of the City.


The key objectives of the strategy were: securing jobs through investment; helping people get jobs; and helping improve the skill levels of residents. Within these objectives there was a focus on supporting young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEETs).


The strategy played an integral part in achieving the outcomes of the Council Plan.  It delivered on the commitments of ‘Supporting businesses to grow’ by attracting inward investment, helping businesses to expand, creating jobs, and improving the skills of the workforce.  The strategy also contributed to ‘Helping local people into jobs’ by improving employability by providing greater access to skills and qualifications, and creating clear routes into work.


During 2016/17 the Economy and Jobs service, part of City Centre and Major Projects Development division, directly contributed to creating 1,340 new job opportunities against a target of 1,219.  £63 million pounds of business investment had also been secured for the benefit of the city.  In addition, Council services supported 413 businesses to grow and develop.  During the year, 7,751 people had accessed employment support and 1,641 people who engaged with the services provided, progressed into work.  The Cabinet acknowledged that this was a significant achievement and that the majority of these individuals are engaging through the Council’s city centre Job Shop located in Bull Yard.


The Council continued to be committed to supporting young people into employment, particularly those who fell into the NEETS category.  In May 2016 the Council began implementing the £8.5 million European Social Fund (ESF) funded youth programme for Coventry, called Ambition. Since the implementation of the ESF funded Youth Employment Initiative programme, 1,655 young people had been supported to raise their aspirations, develop employment skills or return to education.  In addition the Employment Team had secured a further 3 grant programmes for Coventry, worth £8 million in total which would help transform lives for young people at risk of becoming NEET and also adults who needed help to engage with the labour market. 


Over the life of this Jobs & Growth Strategy (Apr 2014-Mar 2017) £472.9m of investment had been secured, with more than 1,300 local businesses receiving assistance and 798 supported to change their recruitment practices and employ local residents.  More than 5,500 inactive and unemployed people were now in good quality and sustainable work as a result of this Strategy and over 1,000 NEETS had been supported back into education, training or work. 


There have been significant achievements over the last 3 years and a new strategy was being developed for 2017-20 which would reflect the opportunities and challenges for Coventry over the next 3 years.


The Cabinet were advised that the report had also been considered by the Business, Enterprise and Economy Scrutiny Board (3) at their meeting on 20th September 2017, and a briefing note setting out their recommendations was appended to the report.  In particular, the Cabinet were recommended to:-


(i)  Include student retention in the City as a key element as part of the next Jobs and Growth Strategy.

(ii)  Consider how it intends to support funding to support the next strategy, particularly in light of Brexit and access to European Union funding sources.


The Cabinet accepted the recommendations from Scrutiny Board (3) and were advised by the Deputy Chief Executive (Place) about the steps already taken in relation to identifying alternative funding streams.


RESOLVED that, the Cabinet:-


1.  Accept the recommendations from the Business, Economy and Enterprise Scrutiny Board (3) as detailed above.


2.  Consider and endorse the progress made by the Jobs and Growth Strategy for Coventry in 2016/17.


3.  Recognise the achievements of the Strategy over the last three years.


4.  Approve the drafting of a new Jobs and Growth Strategy for 2017-2020.

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