Skills are key to GM’s economic aspirations

Report
Addressing skills opportunities and challenges
in Greater Manchester
James Farr
New Economy
Skills are key to GM’s economic aspirations
Manchester Independent Economic Review said:
• Skills accounts for most of GM’s productivity gap
• The productivity of highly skilled workers is dragged down by low
skills elsewhere
• GM economy is in a ‘low skills equilibrium’
• Successful economy requires successful cities
No single group – employers, providers/colleges, universities, local
authorities, unions etc – can address this alone
GM Skills and Employment Partnership: bringing providers, learners
and employers together to improve market function
What do we want to do?
Make the skills of the GM workforce a key competitive advantage for
our future economy
Maximise the impact of skills policy and funding on growth
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Employers more able to influence curriculum offer
Stimulate employer investment in skills
Increase the volume and variety of work based training
Explore new methods of delivery
Help employers articulate their needs, especially SMEs
New joint GM Chamber / New Economy team: better coordinated offer
Skilled labour matched with employer needs
Demand
• Product market
strategies*
• Technology transfer,
innovation and design*
• Technical assistance to
navigate the skills system
* Industrial strategies for UK plc?
Supply
• Education and training for
young people
• Developing current staff
• Bringing the unemployed
into training
• Attracting and retaining
talent
Skills priorities 2013-14
Developed via shared labour market intelligence and analysis, Dec 2012
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Financial and professional services
Creative / Digital
Advanced Manufacturing
Education
Health and social care
Logistics
Retail
Hospitality & Tourism
Employability / management
Work substantiating this (Feb-April):
• Sector ‘Deep Dives’
• Provider Commitments: how the curriculum is responding to priorities
• ‘Embedding GM skills priorities in SFA funding arrangements’
• Developing provider capacity to respond
Working with GM’s key sectors
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Priorities identify the sectors that are key to growth
Developing a common evidence base and agreed analysis for each sector
Use Employer Ownership of Skills (£300mn nationally available) as a
vehicle for more comprehensive sector based approaches
Building on the concept of Employer Skills Groups to motivate employers
Identify the market failure(s): where is intervention needed?
Influencing market levers via
• Higher quality business engagement in schools
• Clearer vocational routeways for learners
• Fostering stronger links between providers, colleges and employers
• ‘Pump-prime’ / risk sharing to encourage new types of delivery
Final Thoughts
• Mixing a place and sector-based approach
• Industrial policy on the demand side…?
• GM-based but inclusive in working with partners outside GM
• Policy developments are mainly around FE and adult learning; more
to do with universities and pre-16 transition
• Skills strategies/action plans around digital, textiles, legal etc will be
early tests

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