Staffordshire’s inward investment team – responsible for attracting new business to the county and helping existing firms expand – exceeded its jobs target for the last financial year.
Today’s unemployment monthly claimant count statistics show near full employment in Staffordshire at just 1.1 per cent of the county population, the same as last month. This is lower than both West Midlands (2.5 per cent) and national (1.9 per cent) figures.
Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said that continued near full employment was good news. However he added that the focus remained on a drive towards the creation of better paid, better skilled jobs – with the inward investment team playing a major part.
In 2016/17, the team had a target of supporting the creation of or safeguarding 2,000 jobs across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. Its final figure was 2,138 jobs, with 20 companies supported. Successes have included securing Spanish automotive supplier Gestamp’s relocation to the Bericote site in South Staffordshire and communication solutions specialist Ascom Wireless relocating to Lichfield.
Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said:
It is pleasing to see our inward investment team exceeding its job target and demonstrates the strength of the local economy. This comes at a time when we’re seeing continued near full employment in Staffordshire. We have seen some real inward investment successes over the last 12 months and in our key industry sectors. This ultimately means more and better paid jobs – helping to ensure Staffordshire people are more prosperous and happier. In turn, this will build on the confidence we have to attract further investment.”
The inward investment team – Make It Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire – covers the local enterprise partnership area of both county and city.