Businesses, education providers and other interested organisations are being urged to have their say on how the City of Wolverhampton can improve skills and employment opportunities in the long term.

A call for information and evidence has been made today by the Wolverhampton Skills and Employment Commission after its launch last month. All of the information submitted will support the independent commissioners in making final recommendations to the City Board and city council. The first call for evidence has been made to city employers. People can have their say and submit evidence through the commission's website at Type=links;Linkid=4875;Title=Wolverhampton Skills and Employment Commission;Target=_blank;.

The commission will be chaired by Professor Tony Travers, Director for British Government at the London School of Economics. It will bring together businesses, education and training providers and the council to find solutions aimed at improving the city's prospects for sustainable, long term economic growth and prosperity.

He said: "The City of Wolverhampton faces real challenges in terms of raising skills and employment opportunities and importantly, better paid jobs. The city's economy is changing - as are the types of jobs being created. All of the organisations we will be calling on evidence from recognise this and the need to bridge the skills gap in the long-term. The commission will act independently and will need local businesses, schools, colleges and the university to be fully engaged to be successful. We will also consider national and regional research and review what is already in place to address skills shortages and what is needed. This will enable us to determine how different organisations will play a part in shaping skills development across the city. This will not be a quick-fix - it is about strengthening the city and raising its economic output at the same time as improving people's prospects and quality of life. It will be a challenge; but there is great determination and commitment by everyone involved to succeed."

City of Wolverhampton leader Roger Lawrence announced his intention to establish the commission in his annual 'State of Wolverhampton' speech to the council in September. He made it clear that tackling unemployment and skills shortages in Wolverhampton is a top priority.

The commission will examine all of the evidence submitted and report its recommendations to Wolverhampton City Council and Wolverhampton City Board. Initial findings are due in March 2015 and a final report will be completed in the summer.

  • released: Tuesday 30 December, 2014