The pandemic, plus trade changes brought about by Brexit, have had a major impact on local employment and the viability of some key businesses. Whilst many employers have been able to adapt, unemployment has doubled.
Despite this challenging environment, locally Labour has a plan to regrow the economy in a way which benefits local people and communities.
We will work with local businesses to support employment, create town centres local people can be proud of, encourage greener commerce, nurture a digital transformation and tackle in-work poverty through a more inclusive and fairer economy.
What will Labour do?
As leaders of Cheshire West and Chester Council and in partnership with Labour MPs in our area, Labour will:
- Work with businesses, trade unions and other local partners to develop an Inclusive Economy Programme that delivers a vibrant and connected brough, where the local economy looks after people and public investment is targeted to support local jobs and grow local businesses, so everyone shares in the benefits of economic growth through fair pay, secure employment, and progression opportunities in their profession.
- Reaffirm our commitment to social value programmes and the principles of community wealth building by using procurement to support local employment opportunities and grow businesses in local supply chains.
- Provide direct support to people through our Business Support Team to help set up cooperatives and other models of enterprise and ownership, to encourage the sharing wealth and resources across local communities.
- Provide support to key strategic sectors in our borough including manufacturing, energy, logistics, finance, retail, hospitality, culture and care through skills support, infrastructure investment, innovation, and supply chain development.
- Increase support for the rural economy in areas like business networks, the visitor economy, greater digital connectivity, tackling rural poverty, building more affordable housing, access to services and accessible transport.
- Take action to support local jobs including working with employers where their staff are at threat of redundancy, offering free courses and support for reskilling, and helping people to find work through our local Workzones and by supporting local job fairs.
- Work with local firms to promote employment schemes including apprenticeships, traineeships, and other Government-led programmes where appropriate.
- Provide employment support for those from older age groups, who might previously have been self-employed, and who might never have faced unemployment before.
- Support young people at risk of not being in education, employment and training, including young adults with Learning Disabilities who need support to transition into employment.
- Grow ‘The Employers Pledge’, which already supports hundreds of employers to work more closely with schools, colleges and up to 12,000 learners, so that local young people have clear pathways into their chosen careers.
- Work with the Local Enterprise Partnership to deliver the Accelerate programme and encourage local businesses to reskill and upskill employees.
- Work with the Cheshire & Warrington Growth Hub to enhance support to existing and new businesses and in recognising that 60% of new investment in our economy comes from organisations that have already invested here, we will work hard to build stronger relationships with the businesses that create good jobs in our borough.
- Through the digital skills partnership we will work with businesses and training providers to develop digital skills and enable them to take full advantage of new digital technologies.
- Develop a package of support for employers to secure improved workforce wellbeing.
- Lobby the Government to devolve more powers, funding and responsibilities to our area; including a potential devolution deal for Cheshire & Warrington, as well a cross-border growth deal with partners across North Wales.
- Lobby the Government to bring forward plans for a post-Brexit equivalent of the European Union economic development funds.