BRIGHTON and Hove has one of the worst skill gaps in the UK, business leaders have been warned.

In the city 25 per cent of employers reported jobseekers were not meeting requirements – making the city the second worst place in the country, behind St Helens.

Worrying evidence of school leavers’ preparedness for the world of work was also presented at the launch of a new initiative to try and plug the skills gap.

The majority (62 per cent) of 16 year old school leavers are either poorly or very poorly prepared for the world of work - compared to 36 per cent across England.

For 17-18 year olds in Brighton and Hove 31 per cent are poorly or very poorly prepared for work.

One of the biggest issues cited by employers was a poor attitude, personality or lack of motivation

Other issues cited included a lack of working world or life experience or maturity, and a lack of required skills or competencies

Some of the worst affected sectors were in elementary or menial jobs, and sales and customers services, meaning highly educated graduates are being forced to take lower skilled jobs.

But one of the city’s most celebrated jobs sectors, creative, digital and IT (CDIT), is also experiencing worsening problems.

According to a recent report on the sector, the Brighton Fuse Second Wave Firms Survey: “Not only has the problem not improved, it has actually worsened, and this is in spite of the one increase in innovation over the last three years: internal staff training.

“The provision of skilled talent to work in these high growth businesses is not a simple process to remedy.”

Fewer apprenticeships were started in the city each year compared to the national average, with a fall since 2011/12.

The findings were presented to more than 100 representatives from the public, private and voluntary sectors to debate a new plan to tackle inequality and skills gaps in the city.

Addressing delegates at the Brighton Hilton Metropole, Geoff Raw, chief executive of Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “The plan will look at ways to eliminate long-term youth unemployment and offer support to all those who are furthest from the labour market.

“It will explore the needs of employers, enhance positive outcomes for our school leavers and young people not in education employment or training (NEET) and create new apprenticeship opportunities."

Consultancy Rocket Science, which has been commissioned to deliver the new City Employment and Skills Plan, gave an insight into Brighton and Hove.

The event was the first step in re-writing the city’s Employment and Skills Plan which was first re-drafted four years ago.


A PLAN is being prepared to create new apprenticeships and eliminate long-term youth unemployment in Brighton and Hove.

Consultancy Rocket Mill has been commissioned by Brighton and Hove City Council to produce the new employment and skills plan for the city.

A presentation was held, which was the first step in rewriting the 2011-14 plan which was first re-drafted four years ago. 

It is intended to ensure residents with disadvantages in the labour market are supported into learning and work. New ways of boosting the number of apprenticeships across the city and region will be considered, with a particular focus on high quality skilled apprenticeships for 16 to 24-year-olds.

The plan will cover a four-year period from 2016-20, with a pipeline of activities to be prioritised and bids for external funding considered. Increased devolution to the region will be considered as a possible solution to the skills gap, with initiatives that could work at wider geographical level, such as the Greater Brighton City Region or the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership region.

The new plan will have a stronger link to education and schools, with some Greater Brighton proposals within the Action Plan.

The work is scheduled to be completed by March 31.