Ipswich: Town’s growth set to continue – but better education needed to reach potential

The state of Ipswich was outlined at the conference. The state of Ipswich was outlined at the conference.

Saturday, June 28, 2014
12:11 PM

Ipswich has low unemployment and is one of the most affordable places to live in Britain – but the poor standard of education probably contributes to it having one of the lowest average wages of any town in the country.

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That is one of the key findings of the State of Ipswich 2014 report which was discussed at a conference hosted by University Campus Suffolk.

Statistical data about the town has been gathered by the borough council and was presented to a meeting of business leaders, academics, and local politicians from the town.

The population growth of Ipswich between the 2001 and 2011 was nearly 14% – ahead of regional trends and statistically similar cities like Exeter and Gloucester.

If the current trend continues, by 2021 the population of Ipswich borough will be 151,000 – and that does not include urban areas like Rushmere, Kesgrave and Pinewood, which are seen as effectively part of the town.

A presentation by Tibbs Pinter of Ipswich Borough Council demonstrated the importance of Ipswich to the economy of Suffolk as a whole.

The Ipswich “built-up area”, which includes Pinewood and some of the new homes to the east of the town’s boundary, has a population of 145,000 – more than twice the size of Lowestoft and almost four times the size of Bury St Edmunds.

Individual council wards in Ipswich have much larger populations than some significant Suffolk towns like Leiston, Halesworth, Bungay and Needham Market.

Social research data shows that Ipswich has fewer “wealthy achievers” than the rest of Suffolk, but it has a higher proportion of the population classed as “comfortably off” than any district, apart from Forest Heath in the north west of the county.

The average gross pay for full-time workers in Ipswich was £23,686, but this hid a significant variation between the genders – men averaged £28,340 while women averaged £20,488 for full-time work.

Ipswich also had 25% of workers earning below the “living wage” level of £7.65 an hour.

Again, there was a difference between the genders with 18% of men earning below this figure but 32% of women below that line.

Mr Pinter pointed out that this difference in wages was in spite of the fact that girls did much better than boys at school.

Andrew Carter from the Centre for Cities think tank said Ipswich came 58th out of 60 cities for the number of people with GCSEs – and was 54th out of 64 when it came to average wages.

The good news was that homes are relatively affordable. The average home in Ipswich costs £154,000, about seven times the average wage. The lowest figure in the country is Wigan where the average home costs five times the average wage.

In Oxford and London the average home costs 14 and 15 times the average wage.

15 comments

  • How much time and money did the Borough Council and Mr Pinter waste collating a load of readily available statistics and then reading it out to a captive audience. As some have commented here it's blindingly obvious to anyone that there aren't enough good, well-paid, jobs in the local or national economy. Wages are suppressed by greedy businesses and the UK is only training people to serve coffee or work on checkouts for pay that is well below a living wage. Statisticians and politicians pontificating about league tables and population growth is just so much useless hot air.

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    skrich

    Sunday, June 29, 2014

  • education needed . is that for ll the none speaking English people to help them speak English. what about people who lived here for all there lives do we get help to speak there language. to help us understand them

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    Lee mundy

    Sunday, June 29, 2014

  • My friend is from Martlesham. If someone asked him where he was from he would say Ipswich, not Martlesham. Boundaries are a political entity. London started off as a number of seperate villages on the Thames, but for political reasons is now one city. Fast forward another couple of decades and all you village NIMBY'S in Martlesham, Rushmere, Westerield and Westerfield will be part of a super, unitary, urban greater Ipswich. As much as you may be outraged by this perceived apocolypse, there is no escape from this monster, so bin your pitch forks, scrap your Ford Cortina's, embrace it and join the 21st Century. You never know, you might benefit from it.

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    Mickola1984

    Sunday, June 29, 2014

  • The problem is that many people leave the area to continue education after leaving school and then don't return as they find work in the place they study or find a partner at college and set up home away from the town. The problem is that Suffolk has never cared about education because those responsible for it, SCC, don't have to use the service they provide for their own children. Maybe things will improve but it will take a long time to catch up.

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    amsterdam81

    Sunday, June 29, 2014

  • The headline says "growth" set to continue but growth of what? Parks, open spaces maybe a few schools and medical centres would be good but I doubt that's what the marketing company that supplied this data has in mind.

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    IanW

    Sunday, June 29, 2014

  • How can education be the blame for low wages? Especially when, according to the State of Ipswich report, many women earn less than men, but are better educated. Low wages are solely the fault of employers, as is inequality between genders in the workplace. Do not excuse employers who are paying poverty wages and who are happy with sexist employment practices by blaming education, it only lets them off the hook.

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    A reader

    Sunday, June 29, 2014

  • Yarn- what rubbish you talk . How can martles ham be Ipswich ? It has Rushmere and kesgrave between it and Ipswich , so under your theory Woodbridge is part of Ipswich too ! Ipswich has its boundaries and if you are not within that then you are not in Ipswich , quite simple

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    Poppys Dad

    Sunday, June 29, 2014

  • Some of those numbers are demographically very depressing to read and just back up why so much of Ipswich is run down.

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    Esco Fiasco

    Sunday, June 29, 2014

  • Martlesham , Kesgrave , Rushmere St Andrew etc that,s Ipswich I believe

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    Yarn

    Saturday, June 28, 2014

  • Finally they have admitted the wages are shocking.Where are these 23,000 a YEAR jobs because I can't find any. Your lucky if you get 16,000, which is not livable. Might be why everybody in this town is a miserable zombie.

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    Happy

    Saturday, June 28, 2014

  • It's the poor standard of jobs that contributes to the low average wage not the level of education. Put simply, if you don't work in care, foodservice, retail, insurance or shipping, your job prospects are limited in this town and your transport options are limited if you work out of town.

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    Sentinel Red

    Saturday, June 28, 2014

  • The original Rushmere st. Andrew village is not part of Ipswich and long may it remain so .

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    Poppys Dad

    Saturday, June 28, 2014

  • And what is the average price of a house in Ipswich ? £170k plus ? That's 6 times income , not that affordable then ! Expensive parking and eating out too . Both my daughter and her partner earn less than £18k each ,. If the town is so great why don't those earners spend it in Ipswich town centre ?

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    Poppys Dad

    Saturday, June 28, 2014

  • How can Ipswich come 58th out of 60 in a poll of cities when it isn't one? Also do you mean numbers of people with GCSEs or proportion of people with GCSEs? If it is the number then it will be much lower as the actual population is lower than most other large urban areas. I also think the reason there are fewer 'wealthy achievers' living in Ipswich is because many of them would prefer to live in the Suffolk countryside rather than the town.

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    alittlebitwoolly

    Saturday, June 28, 2014

  • An average weekly wage of £23,686 - seems pretty good to me! Maybe we need to spend some time proof-reading?

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    alittlebitwoolly

    Saturday, June 28, 2014

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