Rural areas hit by 'lack of ambition'
NEARLY half a million people in rural parts of the East of England live in households whose income is below the Government's main poverty threshold.The shocking findings are to be revealed today during a special conference to tackle lack of ambition and learning opportunities among young people living in rural communities.
By Danielle Nuttall
NEARLY half a million people in rural parts of the East of England live in households whose income is below the Government's main poverty threshold.
The shocking findings are to be revealed today during a special conference to tackle lack of ambition and learning opportunities among young people living in rural communities.
More than 120 delegates, including the National Farmers Union, DEFRA, and the East of England Tourist Board, are due to attend the event, which is supported by the Government Office of the East of England (GO-East).
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It has been organised by the East of England Rural Affairs Forum and the East of England Development Agency and will discuss the issue of low ambition, which is reflected in low skills and low pay employment in rural areas.
Recent data has shown 400,000 people in rural parts of the East of England are living in households below national income poverty guidelines.
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Jane Rabagliati, director of sustainable development and rural affairs at Go-East, said: "Improving access and increasing the take-up of learning opportunities is fundamental to the success of rural businesses and the rural economy.
"This event has attracted an enormous amount of interest and is currently oversubscribed, which shows the level of real commitment in the region to tackling these issues for the benefit of employers, individuals and rural communities."
Research has shown, while school performance in the East of England is slightly higher than the national average, many adults employed in rural businesses receive adequate skills training in the workplace.
They are also found to have a disadvantage when they need to find a job in a different industry.
To improve their skills, they are often forced to travel to urban areas.
The conference, which is taking place at Newmarket Race Course's Millenium Grandstand, is due to be chaired by Ms Rabagliati in the morning and Sal Brinton, deputy chair of EEDA, in the afternoon.