Survey shows performance boost for local businesses
Business owners in the district have reported that their overall performance has improved in the past year.
The survey, conducted on behalf of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, found that nearly 50% of businesses surveyed said that their performance had improved over the past year. This is a higher proportion of businesses than in almost all other areas of the Leeds City Region.
The survey also found that businesses in Wakefield are less likely to have skills gaps in their workforce. Two thirds identified skills that need improving over the next 12-18 months, compared to three quarters across all of the Leeds City Region.
Cllr Peter Box, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: "It is great news for the district that so many of our local businesses are reporting improvements in performance. We understand that there is still a lot more that can be done that is why we are continuing to invest in creating jobs and growing out local economy.
"We are continuing to create apprenticeship opportunities across the district to ensure that young people can gain the skills they need to get jobs with good prospects. We're also seeing business confidence improve considerably, with start-up rates continuing to rise. This is a testament to the success of the Wakefield Business Support Programme.
"I also continue to campaign for a University centre for Wakefield to bring people to the area and raise skill levels across our district."
In the past year, the Council's Wakefield Business Support Programme has created 103 new businesses, created 157 new jobs and supported a further 251 businesses.
The Council's Business Support Programme is delivered partnership with RCP21, South Elmsall Town Council and South Kirby and Moorthorpe Town Council with part funding from the European Regional Development Fund.
The scheme aims to help businesses become established, grow, enter new sustainable markets and create new jobs. It offers a range of free support including business planning advice, access to funding and networking opportunities.
The Council also continues to boost apprenticeship opportunities in the district. Their Apprenticeships Made Easy Scheme has secured employed and training for 280 residents and created 120 apprenticeships during 2013/14.
The findings from the survey, conducted by BMG research during spring this year, are available on the LEP website at www.the-lep.com