Rapid advances in technology are changing fundamentally how work is done and there is a great deal of uncertainty about which of today’s jobs will continue to exist in the near future. If the predictions of technology disrupting entire industries come to pass, workers will need the ability to move into different types of jobs at different points in their career, and apply their underlying transferable ‘human’ skills to different contexts.
Power Up: UK-Wide Growth is the latest report in our Power Up series. In this report we look at how harnessing productivity through skills could hold the key to regional growth. We have consulted more than 50 business leaders, educators, local government officials and other influential figures in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the eight English regions outside London to assess how this potential could be unlocked.
- The need for investment in digital and infrastructure: The overwhelming sentiment from the business leaders was the need for investment, particularly in infrastructure and skills. Digital infrastructure was cited as essential for future growth.
- Upskilling the workforce: Skills is at the heart of this report and from an economics point of view, regions have seen remarkable success in generating work. It is imperative the UK anticipates what skills it will need in 10-15 years.
- The principle of devolution and the need to plan and execute place-based strategies: Regional businesses need a devolution framework and for deals to work effectively. Planning and executing place-based strategies and working with metro mayors in our city regions is key.
- More collaboration between business, academia and government: Building on the foundations mentioned, combined with continuing collaboration between policymakers and business leaders will help ensure that we can work towards creating a healthy and balanced UK economy.