Fifty key stakeholders from the public and private sectors in Greater Manchester have met to shape a Greater Manchester Strategy (GMS) to allow the region’s talent pool to help build the economy and create a regional powerhouse.
Key ideas discussed at the event hosted by MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency and The Commission for the New Economy, formerly Manchester Enterprises, will shape objectives and tactics for a document being prepared for negotiations with Government about Manchester’s status as one of the first two Statutory City Region pilots.
· Harnessing talent from a young age (as early as five yrs) as part of the National Curriculum to encourage enterprising and leadership behaviour – possibly through competitions and partnerships with the private sector;
· Attracting more entrepreneurial talent into the region through creating a seed fund for fledgling businesses;
· Providing education for businesses to trade internationally. The North West is currently one of the worst performing regions for international trade within small and medium sized firms, so encouraging “internationalisation” should improve both productivity and profitability;
· Being flexible with international graduates who want to stay, but cannot because of permit restrictions;
· Further incentivise businesses to offer enhanced skills to their workforce – so that employees don’t have to move out of the region to improve their skills.
· Widening the definition of ‘talent’ – to include not just graduate talent, but those with enterprising and entrepreneurial characteristics that create success, and can help to build the economy;
Colin Sinclair, chief executive of MIDAS, said: “The City Region Pilot provides Manchester and the Northwest with a huge opportunity to shape our shared destiny and will allow Manchester the flexibility to act responsively to local and city regional needs. This event has provided a good insight into our skills and graduate needs based on sound evidence.”
The discussed was led by findings in the ‘Understanding Labour Market, Skills and Talent report’ from the Manchester Independent Economic Review (MIER) and the Graduate Retention and Language Skills’ report, commissioned by MIDAS, which brings together research from universities, inward investors and other sources to focus on the retention of the 400,000 students from the 22 Higher Education institutions within an hour of the city.
The key players who attended included:
Baron Frankal, Director of Strategy and Research at the Commission for the New Economy;
Professor Rod Coombs, Vice President of Innovation and Economic Development at the University of Manchester and MIDAS board member;
Tim Ashcroft, Chief Executive of Innovas Group;
Colin Sinclair, Chief Executive at MIDAS;
John Clarke, Regional Property Executive, Tesco;
Chris Fletcher, Deputy Chief Executive at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
and Lis Smith, Head of Skills at the NWDA.
Baron Frankal, Director of Strategy and Research at the Commission for the New Economy, said: “We are developing an economic strategy for the City Region with people and talent at its heart. This event has highlighted many good ideas to increase productivity that will now feed into this strategy.”