A new report reveals that the workforce in the Bradford district is expected to increase by 18,200 in the next seven years – while the number of jobs is expected to grow by 16,000 up to 2020.
Bradford will need to create 10,200 more jobs to maintain the current employment rate amid a growing workforce, and 31,600 more jobs to match the national average.
Between 2013 and 2020, the majority of the forecast jobs growth of 16,000 are expected to be in higher-skilled occupations.
About 6,000 will require NVQ level 4 skills – equivalent to degree level, and 3,500 will require NVQ level 3 skills – equivalent to A-levels or a trade apprenticeship.
Only 2,000 new jobs will be level 1 or below – equivalent to one GCSE at grade D to G.
In the report to Bradford Council’s regeneration and economy scrutiny committee tomorrow, Mike Cowlam, the authority’s strategic director of regeneration and culture, also outlines the progress of the Regeneration and Prosperity Partnership, which has been replaced by a new Producer City Board.
The Producer City initiative is a strategy for business and economic growth and the report outlines the development of this strategy.
Mr Cowlam states: “Over the past year Bradford Council, University of Bradford and Bradford Chamber have worked together to agree a new strategy for business and economic growth built on a unique and differentiated identity and purpose for Bradford – The Producer City.
“The Regeneration and Prosperity Partnership has agreed the creation of a new Producer City board to oversee development and implementation of the Producer City strategy that will replace the current Regeneration and Prosperity Partnership chairs group.”
The update details how the city centre growth zone has now supported 86 companies to create 353 new jobs, largely through a business rates rebate scheme, and there are calls for the scheme to be extended for a further three years. In addition 100 jobs are being safeguarded as well as 20 new positions through the P&B Foods development at the ProLogis business park next to the M606 motorway.
A digital connectivity scheme, now called Superfast West Yorkshire, will see broadband access extended into remote parts of the district.
Mike Cartwright, of Bradford Chamber, said: “It’s true that more jobs will need to be created if our growing population is to have meaningful employment. As the public sector continues to contract, then it will fall on the private sector to create those jobs.
“It is still a big ask, as we are only slowly coming out of recession, for this target of more than 3,000 jobs per year to be met. We need to create the right conditions for growth – and that includes stability, support, connectivity and a business-friendly environment.”
The meeting takes place at City Hall from 5.30pm tomorrow.