Nearly half lack basic skills

Four out of 10 people living in west Norfolk have basic skills levels or less, a report has claimed. It says nearly half of the working population lacks skills equivalent to GCSE grades A-C and that raising skills and aspirations are the area's biggest challenge.

Four out of 10 people living in west Norfolk have basic skills levels or less, a report has claimed.

It says nearly half of the working population lacks skills equivalent to GCSE grades A-C and that raising skills and aspirations are the area's biggest challenge.

The report, part of West Norfolk's Sustainable Community Strategy, says the area is one of the poorest performers industrially in Norfolk, with 42pc of the resident population functioning at basic skills level, measured by NVQ and GCSEs, or below.

But also that ranks 21st in the country in inequality - with high levels of second home ownership parishes in the north of the borough have high levels of second home ownership and areas of regional and national beauty along the coast.


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Due before West Norfolk Council's cabinet on Tuesday, the report by West Norfolk Partnership, aims to set out a 'common vision' between various partner agencies for the area to tackle the social, economic and environmental issues it outlines.

It says opportunities for the area include developing education with a new College of West Anglia campus, which would host a university, and a city academy already in the pipeline.

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It also wants to promote to Nar Ouse Regeneration Area as an exemplar of sustainable development, enhance King's Lynn town centre and add the resources - including a possible new swimming pool.

And making the area more competitive, enterprising, skilled, aspiring, attractive and sustainable were key areas to work on.

The document will influence the council's local development framework, a planning blueprint, county council strategy, Norfolk Ambition, and the Norfolk local area agreement.

It says: “One of the most telling statistics is that 42pc of the resident population is functioning at basic skills level or below,” it states.

“Our nearest neighbour, based on our overall skills profile, is Hull.

“There is a real need to improve the local skills base to help drive up what is a relatively low-wage economy.”

However, good areas for the borough were that it has an excellent natural environment by regional and national standards, low levels of traffic congestion, a rural atmosphere, short travel to work times, reasonably affordable housing and a good standard of local services.

And has seen more signs of confidence in the last 12 to 18 months from investors, according to John Norton, head of regeneration at the West Norfolk Council.

And the council recently submitted a bid for Growth Point status for King's Lynn, which could see millions pumped into the area and it is planning a marina.

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