Council supports bid to help economy flourish

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Harrogate Borough Council has signed up to a new business-to-business campaign which aims to increase investment in skills and ensure those out of work are equipped to compete in the labour market.

The 5-3-1 initiative, which has been launched by the Leeds City Region’s Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), aims to enlist 1,000 businesses by the end of 2012.

Business representatives from across the Leeds City Region will be talking to business groups over the coming months with a view to signing up companies of any size and sector to the initiative. Those businesses would then commit to one or more of the following actions: Do more to invest in skills; Enhance links with education; Offer a work placement to an unemployed person; Offer an apprenticeship; Mentor a budding entrepreneur.

Jobcentre Plus, the National Apprenticeship Service and the Skills Network will be supporting businesses to take action where needed.

Harrogate Council has become one of the first local authorities in the Leeds City Region LEP to sign up to the scheme.

Council leader Coun Don Mackenzie said: “I would like to congratulate the Leeds City Region LEP on what is a straightforward campaign that invites companies to commit to one or more of five actions. If we want our businesses to succeed and our economy to flourish, signing up to this campaign is an absolute must. We will be encouraging other businesses in the Harrogate district to get on board.”

Neil McLean, chair of the Leeds City Region LEP, added: “The figures speak for themselves: we need to invest more in people, increase our productivity and help our businesses grow.

“It only takes a small commitment to make a big change. For instance, if we increase our employment productivity by one per cent, that will result in growing our economy by £1 billion every year.”

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