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Tackling the Economic Challenges - Full Version

At the core of Labour’s vision for Devon is a thriving economy which provides jobs for all, and which promotes both traditional key service industries such as tourism, hospitality and food production as well as Devon’s strong manufacturing, science and technology base, whilst providing opportunities for new locally driven small and medium enterprises, including those operating as cooperatives or social enterprises. The pandemic has exacerbated and hastened challenges already being felt in the retail sector caused by the growth of online shopping and as well as the development of new ways of working from home enabled by the Internet. Getting Devon back to work after the pandemic is essential to prevent large scale unemployment and increasing levels of deprivation amongst those already suffering from the effects of low income and poverty.

In order to achieve this vision, we will:

  • • Encourage research and investment to support locality-based solutions and services
  • • Support local small and medium start-ups, especially those working towards net zero carbon emissions
  • • Promote life-long education and training opportunities to enable people to continue in employment in a fast-changing work environment
  • • Work to ensure everyone in Devon has access to fast Broadband, and that no household is disadvantaged due to lack of access to the internet
  • • Support apprenticeships training and work programmes for young people and those needing to gain new skills, and press for better integration between apprenticeships, training and universal credit
  • • Consider maintenance grants for those who are disadvantaged or at risk of becoming not in education employment or training.
  • • Support skills and training to increase capacity in the construction industry
  • • Support local innovation hubs in universities and elsewhere to help entrepreneurs develop businesses and remain in Devon
  • • Recognise the significance of Devon’s service and cultural industries
  • • Encourage innovation in sustainable sources of energy, food and digital/creative industries by backing research and training, and by investment in renewables
  • • Be advocates for net zero carbon targets and the region’s innovative green initiatives
  • • Support micro and small business by:
    1. Lobbying for a regional or national investment fund to provide grants and loans to develop skills, innovation and new companies, co-operatives and social enterprises
    2. Providing better access to public contracts for small organisation
    3. Requiring the County’s commissioners to test procurement against social value and award contracts to local businesses and social enterprises which deliver social benefit
    4. Ensuring that Devon’s Local Enterprise Partnership becomes more open and inclusive of small businesses, co-operatives and social enterprises
  • • Ensure all issues that affect economic activity are addressed and not just those within the scope of the Local Enterprise Partnership, including affordable housing, transport, childcare, health services, education and training
  • • Press Government to recognise the Great South West as an economic entity and to agree a rural productivity deal
  • • Pursue measures to ensure all companies that trade here pay their fair share of taxes
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