Employment & Skills

Behind any successful business and local economy, are its people. Businesses need to be able to develop and have access to a talented labour pool and local people need to be able to gain the skills that they need to take advantage of local employment opportunities or to become our next entrepreneurs.

Improving Opportunities for Local People

Launched in March 2016, the Crawley Employment and Skills Plan outlines how the council will work with partners to enable Crawley people to access better job opportunities, all the while addressing skills gaps in the local workforce.

The plan aims to work with public and private sector partners to create different routes to education and also higher value jobs. It will empower Crawley’s most disadvantaged residents while enhancing the town’s Living Wage status.

As a key economic driver in the South East, Crawley is home to more than 3000 active business generating 90,000 jobs – more than the town’s working age population. Crawley also hosts the world’s busiest single runway airport and the South East’s premier business district, Manor Royal. The town only covers two per cent of the West Sussex land mass yet generates a whopping 25 per cent of the county’s GVA.

Despite the wealth of economic opportunity, Crawley residents hold fewer qualifications than the commuting workforce. As a result they earn less due to their limited access into management and professional careers.

Addressing this gap is not only vital in enabling more Crawley people to take advantage of what’s on their own doorstep, it’s also fundamental to businesses too - ensuring the local workforce is up to the task and making recruitment a much easier process.

The plan is divided into four categories – Development and Infrastructure; Education and Schools; Business and Employers; and employability and Social Inclusion. Each category has a flagship project which will help us to reach our ambition. These include:

  • Town centre Skills Academy
    Working with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and developers, Crawley Borough Council will strengthen local policy in order to ensure that key town centre regeneration sites will achieve “Skills Academy” status. This will unlock local job and apprenticeship opportunities for local Crawley residents, working with developers and investors to enhance the positive employment and skills opportunities that arise from developments.
  • Crawley Young Workers Scheme
    A scheme which will initially be launched and piloted at Crawley Borough Council, offering unemployed 16 – 24 year olds paid 6 month placements. This will help develop basic employability skills and experience for those who may not have had an opportunity previously. The council will be working with businesses to encourage them to create their own, similar schemes.
  • Gatwick Skills Laboratory
    Bringing together local further and higher education providers with businesses, Gatwick Skills Laboratory will act as a hub where higher skills level training courses can be designed and rolled out. These courses will be designed with the businesses to ensure they overcome the skills gaps which currently restrict business growth.
  • Employ Crawley
    Creating a partnership with the Job Centre Plus, local employment support agencies, training providers and voluntary sector partners, Employ Crawley will act as a “one stop employment shop” for local residents. Employ Crawley will be a hub where local residents will be matched to jobs, careers advice and skills training opportunities, to enable sustainable employment which is matched to local need.

For more information on the plan email employment&skills@crawley.gov.uk