Investment in people and skills is crucial to delivering clean and inclusive economic growth and increasing resilience against future economic shocks such as COVID-19.

We will work with partners to enhance aspirations, particularly among young people, and the progression routes to high level achievement. Raising aspirations and developing skills sets are crucial to improving social mobility and overcoming deprivation. There are issues of concern across Dorset, and very evident in the more populated areas of Weymouth and Portland. 

Impact of COVID-19 on employment

The full impact of Covid-19 on employment in Dorset over time will be closely monitored. Action plans will be amended accordingly to respond to increases in unemployment numbers or changes in skills requirements.

The age structure of the current workforce means that a high proportion of people will retire over the next 10 years. Upskilling and new skills will need to be developed to reflect advances in technologies, production and service delivery.

Investment in skills will be informed by the requirements of the key sectors for Dorset. It will reflect either gaps in labour supply, the need to increase productivity, or enhance environmental performance.

 What we will do

  • support the growth of new and existing businesses, and in turn support skills development and high-quality job creation
  • enhance people’s aspirations and skills to improve social mobility, independence and prosperity
  • support growth in Dorset’s low carbon economy and skills
  • monitor the impact of COVID-19 on unemployment numbers and respond as appropriate to specific business loses or a general rise in unemployment

How we will do it

  • enable information, advice and guidance and deliver inspirational events to inform young people, parents and carers of local opportunities and progression paths
  • raise young people's aspirations and develop links between schools and business
  • secure resources to prevent and reduce 16- and 17-year olds Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) or jobs without training
  • deliver the council’s commitment to developing young people’s employability skills and careers plans
  • raise skills levels, especially priority sectors, including enhanced provision of further and higher education
  • facilitate a Dorset Apprenticeship Strategy with a focus on increasing starts, focusing on higher and degree level apprenticeships
  • deliver the council’s own workforce Apprenticeship Strategy and work with partners to deliver it
  • enable growth of good quality jobs at Dorset Innovation Park, our designated Enterprise Zone
  • support growth in key sectors, including advanced engineering/manufacturing, agritech, maritime commercial opportunities, aquaculture, tourism and the care sector
  • stimulate local business opportunities, innovation and skills development through council procurement of goods and services
  • promote apprenticeships to develop the council’s own workforce, and work with partners to improve the creation and take-up of apprenticeships across Dorset
  • develop a multi-agency response to any significant increase in unemployment 

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