Andrew Hodgson, North East LEP Chair
Jamie Hardesty

North East LEP reveals revised Strategic Economic Plan

The North East LEP is refreshing the delivery of its Strategic Economic Plan and revising key targets, after exceeding previously set growth goals.

The region is ahead of schedule to reach its ‘100,000 more and better jobs’ target before 2024 having created 53,000 jobs since 2014, with 63% of these classed as higher skilled roles.

Responsible for boosting economic growth in the region, the body is stretching targets to have 70% of new jobs created over the next seven years in more skilled posts.

Moreover, the LEP has stated that 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.

Business leaders will be updated with the plan at a meeting in the NewcastleGateshead Hilton Hotel today, with speakers Sarah Green, CBI Director of Member Relations and Regions and Nations, John Cridland, Chair of Transport for the North and Professor Sir John Holman of the Gatsby Foundation, lending their support.

Andrew Hodgson, North East LEP Chair, believes 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.

He explained: “In this context, we believe that now is the right time to be more ambitious for the North East.

“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.”

Sarah Green added: “The North East business community has fully endorsed the refreshed SEP which drew heavily on business input during its consultation process. The CBI places huge importance on regional growth to fuel national economic performance.”

John Cridland commented: “Transport is part of a wider strategy to connect up the North to strengthen labour markets, to connect the North to markets nationally and internationally and to build a vision of a modern economy with excellent infrastructure which can secure investment and be an effective trade partner.”

Professor Sir John Holman added: “Productivity growth is impossible without skilled people, and the SEP is right to identify skills as one of its key enablers.

“Critical ingredients are good career guidance in schools and colleges and high quality routes to technical qualifications. I’m glad that the SEP is leading the way in emphasising both of these ingredients and that, where the North East leads, national policy follows.”

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