Luton's vision for the future means no-one will be left behind

Ambitious strategy will tackle inequality and offer opportunities for all

By Lynn Hughes
Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 11:01 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 11:02 am
The strategy is Luton's ambitious vision up to 2040
The strategy is Luton's ambitious vision up to 2040

An ambitious strategy to tackle inequality in Luton will ensure no-one is left behind, say the council.

Businesses, education providers, community groups and members of the public have all helped shape the new Employment and Skills Strategy for the town, which was approved by the council's Executive this week.

It will form a cornerstone of the council’s Luton 2040 vision to create a healthy, fair and sustainable town, where everyone can thrive and no-one has to live in poverty.

The strategy tackles the challenges of inequality faced in Luton as the town’s economy changes in the future. Skill gaps and the demands of Luton’s economy are identified, with the strategy proposing priorities to create inclusive growth. With growth distributed fairly across the town, Luton residents will be provided with greater access to the education, skills, and employment to support fulfilling, sustainable careers, which will enable the growth, diversity, and prosperity of Luton’s economy.

The Employment and Skills Strategy also seeks to overcome barriers to employment, including access to transport or the internet.

Consultation on the Strategy took place from September 2021 to January 2022. Aspirations included the nurturing of an enterprising culture across Luton whilst fostering a diverse economy that accommodates a variety of careers. Respondents also wanted to enhance core employability and digital skills, improve signposting of employment opportunities to potential employees and nurture improved links between education providers and employers.

Consultation and engagement will be further undertaken to confirm that the strategy remains reflective of Luton’s priorities and demands.

Councillor Aslam Khan, Portfolio Holder for Skills and Employability at Luton Council said: “Our Employment and Skills Strategy represents a crucial foundation of our ambitions to make Luton a town that thrives and one where no-one is left behind. I’m proud that this strategy is truly a product of our community. A thorough consultation with the public and local stakeholders has given them a chance to have their say over Luton’s future economy.

“The strategy is therefore owned, designed and created by Luton. Only by giving our residents a stake and a voice in our Luton 2040 vision can we achieve it. It’s a bold statement of intent that will create a prosperous, future-proof local economy; an economy that will provide our residents with skills to succeed within the market and Luton’s businesses with access to a pipeline of talent”"

Cath Gunn, Barnfield College Principal, said: “The strategy reinforces the role that skills and education play in realising the town’s vision. There is a real focus on removing barriers, raising aspirations and equipping our whole community for the modern economy. Lifelong skills education will be vital to the future success of Luton – Barnfield College is proud to be part of that vision.”