Our Prosperity and Productivity Plan for Essex sets out our framework for an economy in which productive businesses create high-value, sustainable jobs and in which everyone benefits from growth. This plan looks forward 20 years and sets out our priorities for the next five, it is flexible in the light of climate and technological change, collaborative in its approach to delivery and optimistic about the potential of our businesses, people and communities.
This Plan recognises that long-term growth depends on our ability to take advantage of technological change to ensure that new employment is resilient, adaptable and increasingly productive. Looking forward to the next few decades, the Government has identified four ‘grand challenges’ to which the UK will need to respond, related to demographic change, the growing importance of artificial intelligence and the data-driven economy, climate change driving the need for a new model of environmentally-sustainable ‘clean growth’ and the changing nature of mobility and transport. All of these are leading to demand for new goods and services (and the skills, infrastructure and technologies that will be needed to create them) – and future growth will depend on our ability to exploit them. Our ability to invest in the county’s ‘knowledge base’, develop a highly-skilled workforce and create the conditions in which businesses can both innovate and efficiently adopt existing technologies will be vital.
The need to be on the ‘front foot’ in adapting to new technology will be reinforced by the need to rise to the climate challenge. Achieving the UK’s net zero emissions target by 2050 will mean radical change in resource consumption and production methods. The Prosperity and Productivity Plan seeks to builds on our assets and opportunities so that we can fully unlock the potential of Essex.
In this context, we have identified four ‘Missions’, for a ‘dynamic, resilient, inclusive and connected’ economy:
Dynamic – Driving the creation and adoption of new ideas and opportunities – leading to higher value employment over the long term.
Resilient – Adaptable for the long term – in the context of climate change, new technology and changing markets.
Inclusive – Supporting a growing and changing population, investing in new and existing communities and quality of life.
Connected – Creating better, more sustainable networks within Essex – and open to our neighbours, the UK and the world.