Council aims to get young into work – and help firms to grow



Essex  County Council has launched a training programme with a double target.


Digital Skills for Growth, is designed to upgrade the computing skills of young jobseekers, while boosting the technical effectiveness of Essex businesses.


Kevin Bentley, Essex County councillor responsible for economic growth and infrastructure, says: “The success of this programme will simultaneously help young people into work and businesses to grow.”


Under the scheme, Essex businesses in need of new digital skills will gain funding to help them train young people for hi tech roles. The programme is administered by the county council


Mr Bentley said: “As we all know, workplaces everywhere are becoming increasingly digitalised.


“There is a significant shortage of people with digital technology experience within Essex and the demand for these skills continues to grow.


“This programme is a step in the right direction in tackling this shortfall.


“Not only are we helping young people into jobs, we are enabling businesses to move with the times, get digital, and harness this digital technology in the quest for growth.”


Suzanne Jude, chair of the Essex Employment and Skills Board, has played a key role in launching the programme. She said: “We’ve listened to feedback from businesses and used this information to develop a programme that will have a double benefit.


“It addresses the needs of employers, but also assists young people into new and emerging careers in the digital arena, one of the fastest growing fields of employment.


“We hope this will begin to address skills shortages and youth unemployment in the county.”


Cathryn Fox, founder and managing director of Essex-based Objective IT, is one boss who definitely intends to apply for funding. Her firm, founded in 1987, offers web and mobile database expertise.


She said: “If we are accepted for this new programme, we hope it will enable us to welcome a new and digitally-talented young person to our ever-growing team.”






Digital  Skills for Growth, aims to support enough businesses to assist 70 young people aged 19-24 into jobs.


Businesses will receive financial support of up to £4,000 per young person recruited as part of the programme.


Essex based businesses – including those in unitary authorities – wishing to apply should visit for further information and an application form.


See also @skillsgrowth on Twitter