What is the Skills plan in Essex and the opportunities for growth it presents?

Growing up and running a recruitment business in Essex means I have more than a vested interest in its plans to tackle the skills gap and the ever-increasing demands on employers with the lack of quality candidates for jobs.

If we read any of the long-term projections for jobs globally and the rise of AI, this seems like a short-term problem, but for many of my clients, who are in the manufacturing industry, the investment required to get them using AI to its fullest potential is not in the near future, but the crisis in recruitment is real and the increasing pressure this places on productivity weighs heavy on many of my clients.

The Essex Skill Plan is the most current look at the skills shortages and is a collaboration between local employers, and the public sector and is meant to be a light touch before the national skills policy is released. It is looking at 2022-23 and I am relieved it seems to be business-led!

The most recent data suggests the county has a working population of just under a million people and of those almost 80% are in work. Weekly earnings (residents based) sits around £689 and Essex seems to have a slightly higher than the regional average of Micro businesses, with only 180 large employers (those with over 250 employees) We have a total of 592,000 jobs and of those 62% are full time. Essex has always been known for its roots in the motor industry and it remains the largest employer in the area.

Having read the SWOT analysis contained in the report and the recommendations for immediate actions, I can’t see anything new, it feels to me, we are just planning to do much of the same, which in the current economic climate, really isn’t enough.

I don’t know if any of my colleagues in the industry has had a chance to see the report, so I have attached a link and would be interested in your views.

If you are looking for a recruitment partner in Essex, our team in the Romford office would love to hear from you.