Recent figures show that the number of people out of work in Staffordshire is at its lowest for seven years.
We are continuing to see more businesses come into the county, existing companies expand and more start-up businesses – all creating more jobs.
It’s important that we continue to do as much as we can to make the conditions the best they can be to help businesses thrive in Staffordshire. This leads to more job opportunities and better paid work for people living here. Big projects we’ve been working on include the i54 South Staffordshire development where the new Jaguar Land Rover plant, a new business park at Redhill in Stafford and work to improve the roads from the A50 past the JCB headquarters and up to Alton Towers. Now we’re looking forward to improving roads close to new business sites in Stone, Lichfield and South Staffordshire.
We support businesses of all sizes – from building new sites and road improvements to running start-up centres and a loans scheme for small companies. By improving roads and developing sites, we can attract new businesses to Staffordshire and encourage expanding businesses to remain here.
APC Overnight is one of the biggest parcel delivery companies in the country. We supported its move to the county council developed Kingswood Lakeside in Cannock. The company recently announced it will be expanding.
Chief executive Karl Brown said: “Since moving to Cannock in 2013 APC Overnight has undergone significant expansion which has allowed us to create more than 230 permanent positions in the last year alone. We remain fully committed to Cannock and the wider Staffordshire area and are extremely pleased about the county’s continuing success.”
Enterprise Centre Support
The county council runs 13 enterprise centres for start-up companies across the county – making it as easy as possible for people to get their company established and begin to take on staff and apprentices. Our business loans scheme is open to small businesses and has made 126 loans – meaning 925 jobs have either been created or protected.
It’s good news for everyone that there are more jobs – but it’s equally important that people have the right skills to fill vacancies. That’s why we’re working closely with colleges and universities to provide skills development to meet the needs of local businesses.
We have just opened a new manufacturing and skills centre with South Staffordshire College and will be seeing more developments in other parts of the county in coming months.
Tom Whittingham from Coven in South Staffordshire moved his start-up business into a unit at Cannock Chase Enterprise Centre just over two months ago.
Having graduated in computer-aided design, Tom retrained in carpentry and now manufactures bespoke furniture and fittings.
His business is still finding its feet, but orders are already mounting and Tom is displaying his products at national trade and design exhibitions.
He said: “This is my first premises and it has been ideal – there’s 24 hour security, a supportive centre management team and some great opportunities for networking with other businesses. I’d highly recommend the centre.”