We’ve done it! 2,000 jobs have been created through the city’s ambitious Plan for Jobs.
A concerted effort to push projects that have stalled, provide support for business getting off the ground and encourage existing businesses to expand has led to 2,000 new roles in Plymouth – months ahead of target.
Council leader Tudor Evans said: “This is an incredible result. We were the first city to take this pro-active call to arms approach and act on – rather than just talk about – the key challenges of youth unemployment and encouraging investment in difficult times.
“This has not been down to any one project or any one individual, but a mixture of initiatives that’s helped people find work, help businesses grow and employ new staff and led to over 2,000 jobs being created. That’s a phenomenal result.”
A total of 19 projects were identified by the Council and city business leaders in the plan that set out to:
• Create jobs by unlocking or speeding up major developments, including housing
• Help the city’s unemployed gain skills and experience to help them get work as well as retain talented graduates
• Proactively sell the city, its businesses, its products and its people
• Unlock access to finance and provide support to enable jobs growth
• Use the Council’s assets, influence and buying power to increase jobs by using local supply chains and local goods where possible.
Now 20 months later the tally has reached over 2,000 – from 61 apprentices getting quality, on-the-job paid training, thanks to the innovative Apprentice Training Agency, the phenomenal success of Plymouth’s 1000 Club through to support for smaller business, and a pro-active approach to securing inward investment.
A snapshot of the figures:
- 30 new jobs created so far among Social Enterprises in the city – including Bikespace and Rumpuscosy – thanks to the Council’s innovative £500,000 social enterprise fund, part of the Council’s £20m Investment Fund.
- An increasing number of construction jobs in the pipeline from releasing Council-owned sites for development and homes, as well as construction jobs on enterprise hub sites at Millfields and Ocean Studios ( once finished these will even more unlock employment and business development opportunities)
- 148 jobs created by beefing up inward investment – more staff has led to more businesses coming to the city, more enquiries about relocating to the city, and further exciting announcements are in the pipeline
- 136 new jobs in small businesses through the Plymouth Western Morning News Regional Growth Fund 2
- 43 jobs created through a more pro-active approach to planning – Plymouth’s YourSpace scheme is unlocking land for employment use and developers are being encouraged to ensure skills development is part of planning consent agreements
- In neighbourhoods where historically there has been less work, Outset Plymouth have been working with people who want to start their own business – so far 90 jobs have been created – but importantly, the aspirations raised.
Councillor Evans added: “Special mention is due to the 1000 Club, which has led to 1,023 young people getting work. That’s not just work experience, but paid work. We believed that there needed to be simpler way for those looking for work and those wanting to give young people a chance to get in touch with each other and the club has proved to be the link.
“As a Council we can’t just create jobs, particularly in this climate, where we have to make savings left right and centre, but by giving a financial lift or expert support in certain areas, we can help many, many more businesses to help themselves.
“This plan was not about ‘glamorous’ headline stealing promises – but a commitment to work co-operatively to keep moving things along, strengthening areas where a little support could have a lot of impact and helping business so they can help themselves.”
While the target has been achieved projects in the plan will still progress and create job opportunities post Plan for Jobs.
Paul Woods, chair of Plymouth Growth Board said the plan had worked due to the commitment the organisations involved had shown. He said: “Some of these projects may have happened eventually, but the plan has made sure they have happened now, so we could quickly and pro-actively address the city’s needs.
“We have reached our target three months earlier than planned – but we will not be stopping there. Plan for Jobs has set the basis for significant job creation in years to come.”
The Get Plymouth Building project, which identifies sites for much-needed homes is progressing well. Sites are at various stages of the planning and development process, and if approved could lead to 100s more construction jobs and employment through the local building supply chain.
Investments made through the Council’s Building for Jobs Investment fund have resulted in a pipeline of over 1,200 jobs, including 100s of construction and longer term jobs – for instance developments at Seaton and expanded business park at Langage.