Our Countdown to Brexit survey and workshops seek to understand in greater depth the challenges facing our West Midlands-based businesses across three key manufacturing sectors vital to our resilience as a regional economy - construction, transport and energy - in light of our skills demands, infrastructure and connectivity demands, as well as opportunities for greater regional procurement, R&D and finance provision as part of their competitive mix.
We are conducting this survey, and a series of workshops. The aim is to compile insights in the context of the West Midlands Combined Authority Commission on Productivity & Skills. The evidence gathered will be sent to the Commission which states that 57% of the West Midlands ‘output gap’ results from insufficient skills levels and from having too few people in employment, with 43% down to a lack of economic dynamism. The Commission is primarily focussed on competitive factors existing within corporations with an emphasis on five key areas:
Our survey and workshops will assess the degree to which external factors affect West Midlands business needs and the impact on corporate competitiveness and productivity – skills provision, applied research, design and development skills and facilities, transport infrastructure and public procurement. We are seeking to understand how these are linked to our home grown businesses, supporting and enhancing their capacity and competitive capability.
An Interim Report will be published ahead of the Party Conference Season, Autumn 2017. It will provide greater insight for our political leaders and policy think tanks about the competitive needs of these sectors - which are vital to the West Midlands economy - the backbone of our capacity and ability to add value and enhance output levels across the West Midlands as the UK's manufacturing heartland. The research will seek to evaluate and report on the contributions made by building materials, transport and energy manufacturing to both the region and UK plc, including the multiplier effect. This will inform forthcoming dialogue and our need to reduce imports through greater levels of re-shoring, as well as increase exports in a post Brexit economy.
1) Transport Manufacturing Workshop: 20th July 1200-1500 hosted by David Shepherd, Drive Midlands, Baskerville House Birmingham
2) Construction Building Materials Manufacturing Workshop: 4th August, 1200-1500, hosted by Prf Julian Beer, DVC, Birmingham City University, The Joseph Priestley Building, Birmingham
3) Energy Manufacturing Workshop: 25th August, 1200-1500, hosted by Midlands Connected & Autonomous Vehicles Cluster, MCAV, iCentrum, Birmingham