Southampton Water ExxonMobil

Business Leaders wanted to shape future skills and ensure success of Solent Freeport

The Solent Freeport is calling on business leaders with experience at a senior and strategic level to apply for one of three voluntary positions of Chair of a Solent Freeport Skills Forum, designed to deliver ambitions to kick start regeneration and level up the Solent region.

The Solent Freeport was announced as one of the first UK Freeports by the Government in December. Solent Freeport is projected to deliver over 15,000 jobs directly in the Solent, across a range of jobs and skills levels. Each of the Solent Freeport’s three tax sites at Southampton Water, Navigator Quarter and Dunsbury Park will establish a Skills Forum to focus on upskilling local people to ensure they benefit from the transformational economic opportunities that will be unlocked through Freeport investment.

Brian Johnson, Chair of the Solent Freeport, said: “A freeport in our region is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to level up our important coastal communities and create a significant number of high-quality jobs for local people.  We want to ensure our communities fully benefit from the Solent Freeport, and that local people have the skills they need to take full advantage of new employment opportunities – providing the Solent Freeport with a skilled workforce for future success, and one which can support the pioneering new technology and innovation the Freeport will deliver to transform our region.”

Each Skills Forum will be made up of businesses, the landowner, skills providers, local authorities, and government agencies, providing advice on the development of the Solent Freeport Skills Charter and its implementation through advice on skills needs and investment required.

Applications for the three voluntary positions of Skills Forum Chair for each of the Solent Freeport tax sites are welcomed from those currently working in the private sector.

Further information and details on how to volunteer for one of the roles are available at:

Expressions of Interest should be submitted via email, no later than 23:59 on 25 January 2023 to