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Inward investment and employment

Finding the right balance of appropriate skills to support the current and future needs of individuals, businesses and the local economy is a key priority for the Economy and Enterprise team. Ensuring our workforce have the appropriate skills is also crucial in order to optimise Devon’s offer as a business destination and attract inward investment to the county.

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Inward investment

As well as ensuring that our workforce has the skills businesses need, we also put significant resources into attracting new business investment into the county and supporting existing businesses to grow. In addition to enquiry handling and regular marketing campaigns, we are responsible for Devon’s inward investment website which showcases our county as a top business location.

Workforce skills in Devon

Each year, we undertake a programme of research to ensure we have up to date information and evidence about the nature of skills levels within Devon. Undertaking key pieces of research is central to the delivery of our action plan.

The most up to date research report is the Devon Workforce Skills Survey – December 2016.

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Apprenticeships are at the heart of the government’s drive to equip people with the skills that are needed to grow and compete. Apprenticeships are a great way to bring new talent through the ranks and train your team with job-specific skills they need to help your business succeed. As well, apprenticeships can be used to retain and up-skill current staff.

We fully support the role of apprentices within businesses in Devon and encourage businesses to consider taking on an apprentice through marketing communications activity, and a dedicated Apprenticeships website.

Graduate retention

The ability of the county to retain its graduate population is an important factor in determining the quality of its labour force. Devon County Council is working to make businesses aware of the pool of highly-qualified talent in Devon, encouraging them to employ graduates and engage with graduate employment schemes and further cooperation with universities and colleges.

Enterprising Young Devon

As part of Devon County Council’s efforts to encourage uptake of STEM subjects and promote innovation and local talent, Devon County Council has sponsored the Enterprising Young Devon Awards at the Big Bang Fair South West over recent years.

The awards are targeted at 11-18-year-olds across Devon with the top prizes going to products that exhibit innovation and marketability. The most recent event took place at the University of Exeter on 21 June 2017. Judged by industry experts, the four award winners will be given access to dedicated business support, as well as the opportunity to take part in the national final in Birmingham.

Find more about the Big Bang South West.