27 November 2017: 12:47 pm
Basildon Council has set up a number of initiatives designed to raise the aspirations of residents.
It has established a commission of national and regional experts, which will look at ways in which the economic and social benefits of business growth can benefit everyone in the borough.
The Breakthrough Basildon Borough Commission is independent of the council (although it is supported by it), and will be free to make its own investigations by engaging with local residents, communities and charities.
Councillor Gavin Callaghan, chairman of the newly-formed policy and resources committee, said: "For too long now, too many people in Basildon have been locked out of the economic opportunities that exist in Basildon.
"Young people in particular, need support and encouragement to raise their aspirations and develop the right skills to get the good jobs that on offer in the area and that will be on offer in the future.
"While the council has worked hard and had some successes, in particular creating apprenticeships and employability programmes, this continues to be a problem.
"I want us to get to the bottom of why this continues to be the case and work out what more we can do about it."
Separately, the council has also launched the Basildon Pathways to Success Panel, which will review education and skills provision across the borough.
The council's infrastructure, growth and development committee will work alongside Essex Council, education providers and local businesses to establish whether Basildon has appropriate routes to employment.
An Education and Skills Summit will be hosted by the panel in late autumn 2017, with a view to gathering evidence and ideas.
A detailed report will then be completed, setting out the panel’s findings and recommendations as to how the council, along with other public sector organisations, education providers and employers can raise skill levels, ambition and opportunities. This will then inform council policy and the allocation of resources.
A small working group has been set up to appoint members to the panel, alongside Councillor Linda Allport-Hodge, chairman of the council's infrastructure, growth and development committee.