What is ForwardMotion and what does it do?

ForwardMotion is a campaign that aims to help newly recruited employees, jobseekers and students access jobs, education and training opportunities in south Essex by providing targeted travel advice and a range of services to support people cycling, walking and using public transport – from training sessions to journey buddies to travel advice.

How is ForwardMotion funded?

ForwardMotion is funded by the Department for Transport’s Access Fund.

Why the change in name from Ideas in Motion to ForwardMotion?

Ideas in Motion changed to ForwardMotion following a rebranding exercise in 2018.Ideas in Motion was developed in 2011 as part of the Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) programme. The campaign was designed to raise awareness of the sustainable and active transport options available in Southend-on-Sea and encourage residents to change the way they travel.

In 2017, the Ideas in Motion campaign was expanded across south Essex under the South Essex Active Travel project, which is funded by the Department for Transport’s Access Fund. The name was changed from Ideas in Motion to ForwardMotion in 2018 to better reflect the different target audiences and geographic areas of the South Essex Active Travel project.

Who is involved with ForwardMotion?

ForwardMotion is a collaboration between Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Essex County Council, Thurrock Council and other external providers.

ForwardMotion also involves local organisations who have direct links with those who are seeking employment, training or education opportunities.

How does ForwardMotion work across south Essex?

ForwardMotion is primarily focused on six growth areas within south Essex, which are Lakeside, London Gateway, Tilbury, London Southend Airport, Southend Central and Basildon. We work closely with a number of key employers located in the six growth areas who are responsible for significant new employment opportunities.

ForwardMotion works across the wider south Essex area through targeted engagement and communications activity.

Why do we need to give more people better access to jobs in south Essex?

While substantial growth in south Essex has been realised in recent years with the opening of DP World London Gateway in Thurrock, the development of London Southend Airport and the expansion of the Port of Tilbury, there is latent demand for economic performance in south Essex.

Job density in south Essex is far below the regional and national averages, despite there being a high number of vacant positions reported by major employers and low employment rates. This suggests that employers are unable to attract the right individuals to their jobs and individuals are unable to access suitable roles.

In addition, unemployment across south Essex is consistently higher than the national average. This is significant as unfilled jobs across south Essex could become more attractive to jobseekers if it was easier for them to access these.

Why do we need to give more people better access to education and training in south Essex?

Southend, Thurrock and Basildon have relatively low proportions of residents who are qualified at NVQ Level 4 and above. There is also a relatively high proportion of working age adults with low or no qualifications across south Essex. This means that a greater proportion of people in south Essex are unlikely to have the skills necessary to be successful in the regions’ modern and growing economy.

In addition, the availability of skills remains a significant challenge for local businesses.

FowardMotion aims to make sure that transport is never a barrier to people taking up learning opportunities.

Why do we need to get more people walking, cycling and using public transport in south Essex?

Obesity is a significant issue within south Essex. One contributor to obesity is the relatively low levels of walking and cycling trips in south Essex.

Research shows that driving a car is seen as more stressful than taking public transport. Passive travelling allows people to relax and spend their time as they want.

How can I get involved?

There are lots of ways to get involved in ForwardMotion.

If you’re an individual looking to get more active or save time and money during your travels, we can help. If you’re an organisation seeking a competitive advantage and the boost of a happier and healthier workforce, then we can help you too.

So, get in touch by emailing forwardmotion@southend.gov.uk to find out more.

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