The region is working to create jobs and boost the economy. South Tyneside Council and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)’s approach to inclusive economic growth has been endorsed by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).
Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA (pictured above right with Cllr Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council and Kate Bell, TUC’s Head of Economic & Social Affairs) visited the Borough as part of a discussion on ‘Inclusive Growth and Good Jobs’ hosted by the North East Combined Authority (NECA).
The day focused on two significant areas for the Borough: inclusive growth – ensuring all our residents can contribute to, and benefit from, economic growth – and the focus on good jobs, vital to individuals’ health and wellbeing, as well as an important element in boosting our economy and supporting businesses to thrive.
Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA said: “It was great to be in the north east and see the change and progress that has been achieved. There is a real sense of optimism. I continue to make the case for better work and am encouraged by the North East’s vision to bring as many high quality, good jobs to the region as possible. ‘Good work’ is vitally important to social justice, economic dynamism and civic engagement and I believe it should be a national priority. It isn’t just about creating jobs but also creating the opportunity for people to develop themselves.
”What I see in the North East is a commitment to a plan which recognises the region’s challenges and is clear on its strengths and what needs to be done to make improvements and maximise the opportunities that exist.
"Through the discussions today with Council Leaders, businesses, unions and regional partners, I believe the north east is in a strong position to have an economy that works for everyone."
In support of the regional ambitions the Council is working to further boost jobs and growth in the area, developing an economic strategy that can build on existing major projects such as IAMP and South Shields 365.
As a living wage employer the council has already shown its committed to the social justice agenda and trying to bring real change to the lives of people in South Tyneside. South Tyneside was the first authority in the North East to commit to working towards the implementation of the full national living wage.
Cllr Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council and Chair of NECA’s Economic Development and Regeneration Advisory Board said: “Inclusive growth is vitally important for the Borough. We want to make sure that all South Tyneside residents see the benefit of growth and have the opportunity to reap the benefits.
“But it’s not just about jobs it is also about tackling inequality and deprivation across the Borough. Investment in social infrastructure such as health, education, and skills and employment programmes can also drive growth and result in greater prosperity for our residents. We want to create the conditions for employers to provide good jobs and for our residents to have access to this employment.
South Tyneside’s employment rate has increased 6.5 per cent since 2010, meaning approximately 5,900 more people in work. Phase one of South Shields 365 regeneration is complete and phase two is well underway.
The International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP), for which £42.5m of external funding has been secured, starts on site this year creating thousands of jobs. Progress is also underway in the development of the Holborn riverside site, which should attract further inward investment and create even more local jobs.
However, the Council is not complacent. There are still areas of deprivation in the Borough with individuals not in work or with low skills. The Council’s emerging economic strategy looks to tackle this challenge and learning from the RSA will inform its strategy locally.