Theme 1: Skills & Aspirations
The business base within Ashfield and Mansfield generally consists of lower value activity and is highlighted through a heavy reliance on lower wage manufacturing, wholesale/retail and increasing growth of public sector employment. Employment in knowledge based industries is lower in Ashfield and Mansfield when compared to the national average. Low numbers of the resident population are employed in higher level managerial or professional jobs. The area suffers from a low skills, low wage equilibrium and imports higher skilled workers from outlying areas to fill the higher value jobs.
The creation and accessibility of higher value jobs by local people would increase the levels of disposable income and levels of spend in the local economy. In turn a more sustainable environment for small businesses to start, grow and prosper would follow.
Ashfield and Mansfield residents have a low level of high skill levels (17.6% qualified to Level 4 or higher and 34% obtaining at least a level 3 qualification).
Within Ashfield workplace earnings are higher than the national average, having experienced marked increases between 2002 and 2009, indicating the presence of higher value economic activity within the District. In Mansfield residents’ wages are lower than the sub-regional, regional and national levels and, in the case of Ashfield, are lower than the workplace earnings, suggesting that residents are not benefiting from the propensity of knowledge intensive activity within the District.
19% of the working age population in Mansfield and 16% in Ashfield have degree level qualifications compared to the national average of 29%. Both districts have a higher than average proportion of residents with no qualifications and poor levels of literacy and numeracy.
Since 2007 unemployment rates across both districts have escalated in line with regional and national trends. Some of the more deprived wards across the districts are suffering from very high levels of unemployment.
- Raise aspirations
- Raise confidence levels
- Raise skills levels
- Increase the number of people with higher level skills working in the district
- Improve access for all residents to high quality employment opportunities
- Improve enterprise skills
- Increase earning potential
Measures of success
- Higher skills levels
- Higher employment rates
- Higher earnings
Targets are listed against individual items in the action plan.