Croydon 'to lose 2,000 jobs in the next ten years'
CROYDON is set to lose another 2,000 jobs over the next ten years, according to employment projections in the council's new Economic Development Plan.
The plan, which outlines a vision of making Croydon the most enterprising borough in London by 2040, makes grim reading for the borough's jobseekers in the wake of the recent loss of Allders and Nestlé
However, Tory councillor Vidhi Mohan, cabinet member for communities and economic development, says the five-year plan from 2013-2018 will combat this.
He said: "We want to encourage young people to be entrepreneurial and start their own businesses.
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"The statistics may not read well, but we need to be clear this is a time for opportunity."
A five-year skills and employment plan was also unveiled, which aims to raise skill levels in communities and improve employment opportunities.
"If companies see the borough as a place of serious enterprise and with a workforce who have the right skills, they will be more willing to come here," Cllr Mohan added.
"Croydon can be a major economic hub by 2018."
The council hopes to establish why businesses left Croydon and to improve residents' employability.
Croydon's economy has been hit hard after big businesses such as Nestlé decided to leave the area.
But Cllr Mohan pointed to the unfortunate timing of the previous economic development plan.
He added: "Whenever we have had plans in place, we always seem to be at the wrong end of the economic cycle.
"This time, however, we have the plans in place for when the economy does begin to improve in the next two or three years.
"The time is right for this plan."
Labour councillor Tony Newman reacted angrily to the plans, suggesting they were too negative.
He said: "Bearing in mind the positive news we had about Hammerson and Westfield a couple of months ago, this is ridiculous.
"To concede that many jobs in their projections shows the complete lack of ambition in this administration."
Cllr Newman also expressed frustration at the lack of focus on areas outside the town centre.