This time of year is a nervous wait for many of our your people and their parents as they await their A level, GCSE and other exam results.
I wish them all success and hope they achieve what they wish for.
As they ponder their next move, the role of the council in ensuring our young people have great prospects comes into even sharper focus.
Recent years have shown a continued rise in educational standards in Central Bedfordshire, particularly in our GCSE and key stage two results, and I very much hope that this year’s students will be equally successful.
Whatever path young people chose following their results, we’re committed to creating a range of opportunities that fulfil people’s differing aspirations.
Whether young people want to go to university, pursue vocational training, seek an apprenticeship, find a job or start their own business, the council is working to maximise choice and options for everyone.
Stimulating economic growth – increasing jobs, encouraging investment into our area and bringing money into the local economy – is one of our top priorities as a council.
We continue to work with existing and new businesses to help them expand and locate in Central Bedfordshire.
1,800 new jobs were created in Central Bedfordshire last year, and we continue to see strength of the local economy with the recently opened Center Parcs creating a further 1,500 jobs.
Other local success stories have included Millbrook Proving Ground, who the council worked with to secure Government funding to bring forward exciting proposals for the development of an Advanced Propulsion Centre on the site. This further enhances our reputation as a centre for high performance technologies, research and development.
As well as creating jobs, our work is also about equipping people with the necessary skills to get the jobs that are available.
Last year our adult skills team provided skills training and employment support for 3,500 adults.
As a result of this multifaceted approach unemployment rate at 3.7% is almost half the national average.
This buoyant employment market is something that our young people can take confidence from.
For young people considering what to do next, we’ve created a special page on our website www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/youthsupport with information and signposts to advice and support.