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North West business leaders welcome major report from The Productivity Institute

01 Dec 2021

Business leaders in the North West are championing plans from productivity experts to accelerate the levelling up agenda in the region

Manchester

Bruntwood, North West Business Leadership Team and former Siemens UK chief executive Juergen Maier are among those calling for a re-think when it comes to addressing the North West’s productivity challenges.

The call comes on the back of the newly released Productivity Insight Paper for the North West of England, created by The Productivity Institute and its North West Regional Productivity Forum, both based at Alliance Manchester Business School.

The paper highlights the strengths of the region, including its large and very productive manufacturing sector – which sits head and shoulders above its UK regional counterparts – as well as its leading R&D assets, life sciences, energy and digital industries. But it also outlines productivity gaps in the region, identifying the obstacles preventing the North West and its sub regions from gaining ground on UK average productivity levels.

The report’s authors have called on the government to prioritise policy areas that focus on the region’s strengths, factoring in improving within-region connectivity through local transport connections; strengthening coordination and collaboration between businesses, government and universities; unlocking demand for skills and strengthening basic conditions for creating a productive workforce; and digitalisation.
The paper comes on the eve of the publication of the much-anticipated Levelling Up White Paper, which also seeks to address the widening gap and “dismal” productivity growth rate in the North West of England.

Outlining some of the findings in the report, Dr Marianne Sensier, Research Fellow at Alliance Manchester Business School and co-author of the report, said: “We need to recognise the true scale of the productivity problem here in the North West. What is clear is that addressing the North West’s productivity challenges cannot be delivered with the same historical approach. It will require a sophisticated mix of coordinated policies."

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