Skilled workforce vital in East of England say businesses – BBC

Investment to provide a skilled workforce is vital to boost growth in the East of England, business leaders have told BBC Politics East.
In the last 10 years, productivity in the region has fallen behind other areas of the UK, according to research by the Bennett Institute in Cambridge.
The government said it aimed to boost productivity with investment zones providing tax breaks for firms.
On Friday, applications for zones across East of England were submitted.
The Bennett Institute for Public Policy's study found between 2008 and 2019 productivity in the East of England rose by 0.7% compared to the UK average of 4%, while in Wales productivity rose by 6%.
Matthew Agarwala, a project leader at the Bennett Institute, said: "Productivity growth is the best economic indicator of whether or not living standards are rising over time.
"The UK has seen anaemic productivity growth since the 2008 financial crisis, but it is even slower growth in the East of England."
Martin Lawrence, director of Metalcraft in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, which produces large stainless steel vessels for industries such as nuclear power, said: "Recruitment has been a challenge for a while. Finding skilled people, particularly in the north Cambridgeshire fens, is really, really challenging."
Metalcraft has been involved in building a training facility at its plant.
"Chatteris is a really cold spot for vocational training. It's really 20 miles in any direction with no training until this one was built," said Mr Lawrence.
Charlotte Horobin, East of England and Midlands region director of manufacturer organisation Make UK, said: "Not being able to access [trained] people is really a huge issue, especially if you're a smaller business where losing one person could be a catastrophe.
"Making sure you have skilled, talented people delivers prosperity."
Conservative MP for South Cambridgeshire, Anthony Browne, said one way of boosting investment and training was the government's plans for investment zones.
"The key to growth was raising productivity. If you have tax breaks, for example, on business investment, which is one of the tax breaks in investment zones, there is a lot of evidence that it encourages investment by businesses in plant and machinery," he said.
"One of the problems we have in the UK is that our tax relief that we give for investment isn't as generous as that offered by other countries."
You can see more on this story on Politics East on BBC One on Sunday, 16 October at 10:00 BST, with it also available on BBC iPlayer afterwards.
Find BBC News: East of England on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you have a story suggestion please email [email protected]
UK economic growth slows sharply in February
Bennett Institute for Public Policy
Remembrance 2022: Townspeople of Chatteris turn out to show respects
Roadworks across Cambridgeshire this week that could affect your journey
Man who cycles around the world 'distraught' bike was stolen in Cambridge
Fenmen remember with short act of remembrance ahead of game
‘Interesting goings on’ at Oliver Cromwell’s house during October tours
Tributes have been paid to former St Neots mayor Derek Giles who has died
Republican anger over midterm election failings
What Democratic Senate means for Biden and Trump
Six dead, dozens wounded in Istanbul explosion
James Gallagher: Have I dodged Covid?
Finding the faces of forgotten comrades. Video
Can biggest floating solar farm help Thailand hit goal? Video
'From the moment I came to Switzerland I hid'
Zimbabwe's dilemma over deadly elephant attacks
Undercover in the world’s dirtiest oil field
Seven controversies from 70 years of the UK singles chart
Joni Mitchell says her music upset male artists
How Earth is dimming because of climate change
The X-rated cartoon that shocked the US
The sand battery making waves in Finland
The mindset employers want now
© 2022 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about our approach to external linking.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *