Suffolk: Employers Skills Survey to support Greater Ipswich City Deal project

At the launch of the chamber skills survey at the Suffolk Show are, from left, Paul Winter, chief ex

At the launch of the chamber skills survey at the Suffolk Show are, from left, Paul Winter, chief executive of Ipswich Building Society and chairman of the Greater Ipswich City Deal Steering Group, Mark Bee, leader of Suffolk County Council, John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, Dave Muller, principal of Suffolk New College and chairman of Ipswich Chamber, and Russell Williams, chief executive of Ipswich Borough Council, with pupils from Suffolk schools who were helping to promote the survey at the show, Ruby Ridley, Emily Macartney, Izzy Macartney and Charlotte Gregory - Credit: Archant

A major business survey has been launched to support a bid to secure new local powers to drive economic growth in Ipswich and the surrounding area.

The Suffolk and Norfolk Employers’ Skills Survey, which was officially launched at the Suffolk Show and will run for the next three weeks, is part of work being undertaken by the Greater Ipswich City Deal Steering Group.

Following “City Deal” agreements with the country’s eight largest cities last year, the Government announced in February that Ipswich and Norwich were among 20 locations selected for a second wave of deals.

They are now in the process of negotiating the exact terms of additional budgetary and administrative powers which will help drive growth and job creation.

Among those attending the skills survey launch event, hosted by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, were Ipswich Building Society chief executive Paul Winter, who is chairing the steering group, and Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee.

“There is no doubt that employers from across Norfolk and Suffolk continue to face real challenges regarding work force skills,” said Suffolk Chamber chief executive John Dugmore.

“That is why our organisations are coming together to ensure that not only is the matter addressed, but that real changes are made to give employers support tailored to their needs.”

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Mr Winter said: “The work of the group is going to make a real difference. We are looking to win new flexibilities from central government that will help us grow our economy and create more high value jobs. We will achieve this by developing the right skills in our current and future workforce.”

Mr Bee added: “The Suffolk Growth Strategy has recently set out the direction of the county’s economy Improving skills and ensuring the demand is met is key to our future success which is why I would like to encourage as many firms as possible to complete this important survey.”

The results of the employers’ survey are intended to provide the county councils, chambers of commerce and other partners organisations with valuable information about the state of skills in the two counties.

The aim is to identify what the specific needs of employers are and where future investment needs to be directed, and also to give employers more say in what training is delivered in future in Suffolk and Norfolk.

Taking part involved completing an online questionnaire which asks businesses for information on their current and projected training needs, their experience of employing young people and their links with schools and other education providers.

The survey, which should take no more than 10 to 15 minutes, can be found at and will remain available to complete until June 21.