CABINET CALL: By South Holland District Council deputy leader Coun Nick Worth
South Holland District Council has come out in favour of devolution by a huge majority, so eight out of the ten Greater Lincolnshire authorities have now voted for devolved powers to bring in significant financial investment into the Great Lincolnshire area.
Vitally important areas such as major road infrastructure, housing, skills and potentially funds for agri-food around robotics and engineering, will in itself bring in jobs and economic prosperity to our area.
Having to swallow the pill of an elected Mayor is a small price to pay to allow decisions to be taken locally and not in Westminster.
There have been many discussions around skills in recent months between South Holland District Council, the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, local businesses, schools and both Further and Higher Education providers.
It is vitally important that these connections are made so that young and talented people from around the district can choose the right courses and apprenticeships that align with the needs of local businesses.
Time has moved on from the low skill, low wage economy that has dogged our area for far too long.
The Agri-food industry in particular has taken up the challenge and there are now a number of exciting career opportunities around engineering and robotics in particular, but also for those interested in food science.
There is genuine career progression and opportunities to work towards a foundation degree, while working on the job and being paid for it as well as the added bonus of no student loans to pay off at the end of it.
Over the coming months we will be holding career events in businesses and in schools, so watch this space for more information.
Local government is also well worth considering with careers in Environmental Health, Food Safety and increasingly around Information Communications Technology (ICT).
The proposed Food Enterprise Zone (FEZ) at Holbeach is a good example of all the above. It will incorporate Research and Development, Food Processing, Engineering, Education, Packaging and Logistics.
If granted planning permission, it will potentially secure over a thousand jobs and attract up to 24 new businesses to the area, all of which will be highly skilled and will help to gain even greater prominence to The National Centre for Food Manufacturing, not just nationally but globally.
All the more reason to bring on devolution and attract more funding and powers from central government, so that we can fulfil more projects like those mentioned above.