Major occupiers on North Warwickshire Business Park were struggling with growth due to an exhausted labour market. Yet in a town just 12 miles away the largest group of unemployed residents in Warwickshire resided. But this potential pool of labour was unable to access the Park because of a lack of viable transport options.
This prompted the formation of a new collaborative venture involving Warwickshire County Council, North Warwickshire Borough Council, Stagecoach, Liftshare, North Warwickshire Business Park owners, larger businesses on the Park and Job Centre Plus, to work together; sharing information, data and resource to tackle transport/travel barriers to employment, which are currently hampering growth.
Discussion with the businesses on the park identified needs in terms of shift patterns and current travel behaviours. As a result a new direct bus service has been introduced whilst other existing services have been tweaked. Car sharing schemes are being introduced to the park itself as well as some of the major employers. Personal travel plans will deliver information on the options and incentives to existing employees and, through job centre plus, to job seekers.
Partners are contributing to the funding requirements, so that each organisation is only required to make a modest contribution.
At a time when the labour market is tightening and employers are casting their nets wider to secure employees this is an exciting, but simple, concept that can be replicated anywhere in the UK provided that the partners share common objectives.
Author Jon Scutt