- March 9, 2020
- Posted by: Jenna Jack
- Category: News
New approach needed to boost productivity in the North – PeoplePlus launches the IRF Employment Superhighway
On 3rd March PeoplePlus encouraged MPs to rethink the future skills agenda to meet the needs of local labour markets. The organisation believes that a new approach is needed to address skills gaps and provide a much-needed boost to productivity in the North and other regions, helping the Government to realise its ambition of ‘levelling up’ more quickly.
Recent employment figures from the Office for National Statistics show that nearly 180,000 people joined the workforce from September to December last year, but unemployment remains high in many areas of the country, including the North East – where almost 6.1% of people over the age of 16 are out of work compared with 3.8% nationally.
Speaking at an event in the House of Commons to launch our new report, ‘Creating the employment super-highway’, PeoplePlus Group Managing Director Simon Rouse called for a different approach to regional employment challenges.
Mr Rouse argued that we need to be smarter about using forecast data to understand local labour markets and that we will see better results for employers and job seekers if we encourage a greater emphasis on collaboration not just competition in the skills provider community.
“The high levels of employment are hugely positive for this country, but with 71,000 people out of work in the North East, there is more we can do. In order to deliver against the Government’s commitment of ‘levelling up’ we must rethink our approach to skills.”
Now is the time to focus our attention on using data more intelligently to forecast local need and for the skills provider community to work in partnership across the country to meet national employer need. If we do this, we will drive up productivity and provide a much-needed boost to areas like the North East, where unemployment remains stubbornly high.”
Following the event in Parliament, PeoplePlus held a roundtable event in Birmingham to discuss the report with regional employers and partners. A series of similar regional events across the country will follow.