Efforts to ensure County Durham’s workforce has the skills to meet demand are proving successful.
A report to Durham County Council’s Cabinet also states that further work by the authority and its partners is now needed in order to build on achievements so far.
The council’s Economy and Enterprise Scrutiny Committee carried out a review of skills development in the county with the aim of understanding the current approach, investigating provision, identifying barriers to employment and making recommendations for the continued development of skills support in the county.
Cllr Rob Crute, Chair of the Economy and Enterprise Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said: “County Durham has been successful in recent years in attracting inward investment, with a number of major companies locating to the county.
“If we are to ensure this investment continues, it is essential that the skills of our workforce meet the current and future requirements of employers.”
The review found that a number of initiatives have already been set up to support skills development including three Durham County Council apprenticeship schemes and the DurhamWorks programme, aimed at 16 to 24-year-olds who are unemployed or inactive.
A wide range of good quality careers support is currently available to schools, further education colleges and specific groups of young people, while more than half of the council’s 14 Area Action Partnerships have identified employment and training as one of their top three priorities and have developed a number of successful skills projects.
The report emphasises the need to continue being pro-active in working with schools to promote the importance of good quality careers advice together with work placements and for the council and its partners to identify and develop further opportunities for engagement bwteen schools, colleges and businesses in the county.
It also identifies the need to continue encouraging businesses to create apprenticeship opportunities and offer additional training to existing employees.
Members of Durham County Council’s Cabinet will consider a report on the review when they meet at County Hall on Wednesday, October 19.