December 4, 2014
New initiative launched to attract higher wage jobs in Burnham area

More high-skilled jobs need to be attracted to Burnham and Highbridge to help the towns to continue to grow, a town councillor has called this week.

Councillor Phil Harvey, right, said the Burnham area has a thriving local tourism industry, but he warned that there are too many "low wage, low skilled jobs" in the area as a result.

During a debate about a document on Sedgemoor's economic strategy this week, he said that more needs to be done to attract jobs from other sectors.

"Tourism is very important for Burnham as stated in this document, with Highbridge more peripheral, and it is very impressive that the number of jobs has increased in Sedgemoor during the recession, unlike in many other places."

"But one of the things that this report makes clear is that a lot of the jobs created are in low-wage, zero-hours or low-skilled roles."

"That's across a lot of the tourism sector, so I think we should see whether we can get more high-paid jobs in, which are likely to be in office development."

He told councillors during this week's debate in Burnham: "We do have the Isleport Industrial Park in Highbridge and we made a strong plea to Sedgemoor at a Neighbourhood Planning meeting to consider allocating part of it for a high-quality business environment."

"It was taken favourably and the Town Council is in a position where we can now influence the situation to bring more high-paid jobs into the area."

Cllr Ken Smout said there remains a challenge in that many new businesses consider bigger towns such as Taunton first and the Burnham area therefore has to strongly compete against them.


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