Decision details

Staffordshire Means Back to Business - Oral Update

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Decision – That the oral report of the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills giving an update on “Staffordshire Means Back to Business” activity including the following matters be noted:


·       The showcase of the West Midlands Interchange (WMI) project in South Staffordshire, by our investment body Make It Stoke and Staffordshire. The WMI has been approved through the national planning Development Consent Order (DCO) process, being considered as a nationally significant infrastructure project.  The scheme is expected to generate over 8,000 direct jobs, and the developer states spending will support a further 8,100 indirect and induced jobs in the economy through the distribution chain.  Following planning approval at a national level, our approach has been very much about working with the scheme developers to secure the best opportunities possible for our local residents and the wider community.  As part of this approach, we were successful in securing up to £4.55m for recruitment and skills development activity over the life of the project.


·       The inaugural WMI Employment Funding Steering Group held on the 10 November. This steering group is a decision-making body who are responsible for directing the spending of the employment fund. A WMI Employment Partnershipwill also be established early in the new year, which will include local public, private and education sector representatives.  This partnership will help shape delivery and it will report into the Employment Fund Steering Group. 


·       The claimant count in Staffordshire has remained virtually unchanged over the last month, with only a very small increase of 40 claimants between September and October 2022, with the total number of claimants in the county now standing at 14,365.  This is similar to the national picture, with the claimant rates for Staffordshire and England remaining unchanged at 2.7% and 3.7% of the working age population, respectively.


The youth claimant count in Staffordshire has seen an increase of 80 to a total of 2,635 young people.  The number of claimants aged 18-24 has therefore increased but been partly offset by a fall in the number of claimants from other age groups.  This is the same as what has happened across England as a whole.  At the moment it is not entirely clear as to why this is the case, and we will be closely monitoring the situation, but it may be due to young people leaving formal education.  The proportion of young people in Staffordshire aged 18-24 that are claiming work-related Universal Credit has increased this month from 3.9% to 4.1% compared to 2.7% for the working age population and 4.7% nationally.

Publication date: 17/11/2022

Date of decision: 16/11/2022

Decided at meeting: 16/11/2022 - Cabinet