Life chances and opportunities for Wakefield people getting better



Opportunities for people in Wakefield are improving, as the gap in wage levels compared to the wider region is narrowing and more residents have higher level qualifications.

Wakefield's senior councillors will discuss a report highlighting the changes that are being made in social inclusion and mobility at their next Cabinet meeting on March 7.

Work by the Council with its partners to promote education and skills, equality and diversity ,and community harmony is making progress in delivering opportunities for better jobs, higher wages and a better quality of life for local people in Wakefield.

Cllr Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: "We need to encourage greater opportunities for all our residents by improving wages and skills levels and for people to have access to affordable housing.

"These are big challenges and can't be tackled overnight. But the outlook and direction of travel is good. We are seeing improvement and this is encouraging. Our long term goal is to build on what has been achieved so far, as our district is a great place to live, work and do business."

Between 2015 and 2016 the average wage gap between Wakefield and the Yorkshire and Humber region narrowed from 4.35% to 3.9% of earnings. Average wages in Wakefield are now £463 per week for full time workers.

Around 48,000 Wakefield area residents are now qualified to degree level or above. Wakefield has also risen six places in the rankings for residents with higher-level qualifications according to the 2017 Centre for Cities 'Cities Index' report, above Barnsley, Doncaster and Hull in our region.

The 2017 index ranked Wakefield as the seventh fastest growing city in the UK for new private sector jobs, with 4,300 more jobs created between 2014-15.

Some long term challenges remain, including attracting more jobs that pay higher wages and improving the uptake into further and higher education of local children from more deprived backgrounds.

Councillors are being asked to approve a recommendation that the Council continues to prioritise and support work to deliver long-term inclusion and social mobility for residents and communities in the district.



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