The people of Bristol South need quality jobs in green industries tailor-made for the needs of the 21st century. I will work to bring investment into the area to create new high-quality jobs for our young people, as well as supporting people of all ages who want to create their own small businesses.
The big issue
In 1990, the closure of the cigarette factory at Hartcliffe saw the loss of the 25,000 jobs that were either directly or indirectly dependent on the tobacco industry. Those jobs have never been replaced.
Bristol South provides between 40,000 and 45,000 jobs, less than 60% of those needed to meet the employment demand in our part of the city.
Despite this, Bristol South has a higher proportion of the working-age population that is economically active than either Bristol as a whole or the UK in general.
A high proportion of South Bristol workers have to endure long journeys to and from work every day, often the other side of the city.
When those who are currently unemployed or economically inactive, but looking for work, are added to the mix there is a “local jobs gap” of some 30,000 jobs in South Bristol. This will increase as South Bristols population grows.
What South Bristol needs
Investing in jobs We need to bring manufacturing jobs back to South Bristol by continuing to invest in projects such as the Filwood Green Business Park which support “green jobs”, and denser development of existing and proposed employment sites.
The low-carbon manufacturing industry is one of the fastest-growing jobs sector in the world and offers considerable opportunity to close South Bristol’s local jobs gap. In a time of economic stagnation the energy sector – both energy efficiency and renewable energy generation – has continued to grow and is potentially a creator of a vast number of local and skilled jobs.
Investing in young people We need to enable job creation for local people, particularly young people who are currently unable to find work, by creating a local youth transition service that helps young people into work. This includes access to vocational training for example, at the moment there is an estimated “skills gap” of 150,000 construction jobs in the UK.
Supporting small businesses We also need to encourage the creation of small and micro businesses, and especially those that encourage participation of those who may otherwise be isolated from income generating opportunities. Projects such as the Eagle House Pop-Up Furniture Factory in Knowle West need to be encouraged with further funding and expanded.
Waste to work We should also encourage the setting up of re-use and repair centres to reduce the amount of waste created in the city. We should assess the potential to create jobs out of waste by setting up a city wide network of such centres.