Productivity is a significant challenge for the North West, which has one of the UK’s largest regional economies, with the highest manufacturing output. The region produces 9% of the UK’s total exports and remain a cornerstone of industrial production. However reliance upon low-wage, low-cost industry and an abnormally high level of public sector employment continues to hinder growth. In 2012, GVA per job in the North West was £39,210 compared with £45,100 for the rest of the Country. The region lags behind the average UK productivity levels in all sectors except manufacturing; indeed Greater Manchester’s productivity is around £10 billion behind the UK average and continues to deteriorate.
Increasing our region’s productivity is therefore central to ensuring the overall success and prosperity of the North West. The incorporation of digital technology into the manufacturing sector as we enter the fourth industrial revolution will be one of the most crucial ways we improve our productivity. It is for this reason we whole-heatedly welcome the announcement by the Chancellor furthering the commitment to establish the Made Smarter pilot in the North West. NWBLT Chairman, Juergen Maier’s work on this has been fundamental to the success of the pilot. The commitment to our region by businesses and a hefty financial endorsement of £20 million by Government exemplifies the confidence national stakeholders have in our region.
The North West is also incredibly lucky to be home to a diversity of business types, from large multinationals to smaller family owned firms. The success of our region is contingent on all of our businesses reaching their potential. Family owned businesses are often incredibly successful, with their smaller size often being an asset – providing them with flexibility and the nimbleness to operate successful and efficiently. That being said, is a lot we can do to ensure family owned business get the support they need. The NWBLT have been working closely with Be the Business around family owned business support. We are incredibly pleased with this partnership and are again delighted by the Chancellor’s commitment to a family owned business support pilot which will commit to creating a ‘Small Business Leadership Programme’, which will provide management training to 2,000 small business leaders in its first year alongside other actions that will enable family owned business to prosper.
Productivity Lead for the NWBLT Richard Carter welcomed the Chancellor’s announcements:
‘The actions announced by the Chancellor today are a welcome recognition of the great work our Chair Juergen Maier has been doing nationally to lead a real drive to increase our country’s productivity. We will continue to work hard with ‘Be The Business’ and our other partners here in the North West to take advantage of this opportunity to step up activity. No one has a monopoly of ideas if we are to address our region’s relatively poor productivity performance – and we are committed to working together across sectors and government to deliver increased investment in R&D, and innovation, skills, competition and a culture that nurtures, celebrates, and rewards enterprise.’
For further information please contact Katie Bray at NWBLT 07958 603471.
Notes to Editors
The NWBLT brings together leaders of national and international businesses with substantial commitments and interests in the North West of England. A unique regional entity, funded entirely by our members, we work to exert our collective influence for the long term good of the region, economically, environmentally, culturally and socially.
Its mission is to make the North West the UK’s most attractive region in which to live and work for generations to come. It does this by articulating the view of major business leaders on key issues which make a real difference to the region’s attractiveness as a place to live and work (when doing so NWBLT states its agreed position as an organisation but this may not necessarily be the view of all of its members);