North East ‘ahead’ of 100,000 jobs target

Andrew Hodgson

North East ‘ahead’ of 100,000 jobs target

As a refreshed Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) is unveiled, the North East Local Enterprise Partnership says a confident region is ahead of its job creation targets.

The North East LEP has worked with the business community and partners across the region to refresh the plan for 2017 – to better reflect a changing business and political landscape dominated by Brexit and the challenges of globalisation.

The SEP sets out how the region can build on its recent successes and continue to create more and better jobs for the region.

Business leaders will hear about the updated plan at the NewcastleGateshead Hilton, with speakers Sarah Green from the CBI, John Cridland of Transport for the North, and Professor Sir John Holman of the Gatsby Foundation.

The new SEP reveals:

  • The North East is ahead of schedule to reach its 100,000 more and better jobs target before 2024 – over 53,000 jobs created since 2014, with 63% of these classed as higher skilled jobs
  • Stretching targets to have 70% of new jobs created over the next seven years in more skilled posts
  • Digital technology, advanced manufacturing, healthcare innovation, energy, service sector, and quality business space are the business sectors identified as underpinning a surge in new regional employment
  • Job growth increased at a rate of 6.6% over the past two years eclipsing the national rate of 5.4% in England
  • The North East is a £37bn economy, employing 865,000 people
  • Key challenges remain – delivering higher regional productivity is essential as the gap widens with national performance, while economic exclusion remains a persistent concern in some parts of the region.

Andrew Hodgson, North East LEP Chair, said that the refreshed SEP provides a solid foundation to ensure the North East is in a strong position to bid for new investment in future.

“In this context, we believe that now is the right time to be more ambitious for the North East,” he said. “The progress we have made towards the targets we set out in the original SEP in 2014 has exceeded our expectations.

“As well as refreshing our delivery plan, we have also revised our key targets. Our aim will be to reach our target of 100,000 more and better jobs early and stretch that further.

“Given the need to address the productivity challenge, it is particularly encouraging that the percentage of better jobs created has reached 63%, already ahead of our original target.”