Midlands Engine for Growth Prospectus
The Midlands Engine for Growth prospectus was officially launched by the Business Secretary Sajid Javid at the University of Birmingham last week.
Revealed at the university’s Edgbaston Campus on 4th December, the prospectus sets out a vision for an economy focused on productivity and driven by getting the most out of the Midlands’ workforce, research and transport. There prospectus outlines an aspiration of 300,000 jobs and £34 billion worth of growth by 2030.
The prospectus focuses on five key themes: trade and investment, transport, research and innovation, business support, and skills – where further education colleges in the Midlands are expected to play a major role.
In relation to skills, the following points have been highlighted from the prospectus:
- Further education providers are already working closely with the employer base to ensure that student skills are matched to employer needs, and to ensure opportunities to retune skills of existing employees are provided in a flexible manner.
- Devolution of adult skills planning and funding will allow the Midlands Engine to focus training even more sharply on the needs of the regional economy.
- The Midlands Engine will drive action to respond to the challenge of an aging workforce and emerging skills gap in the manufacturing and engineering sectors.
- The Midlands network of further education colleges will initiate a unique partnership of institutions to deliver a new approach to skills, by being focused on employer needs and engagement. The Midlands Engine partners will pool resources and delivery around our major manufacturing companies where colleges already have a strong provider role.
- A Midlands Engine region network of Specialist Advanced Manufacturing Hubs based on the concept of Institutes of Technology will be formed to deliver feeder routes from the wider body of colleges into the new hubs.
- The Midlands Engine partners are also committed to developing a comprehensive provision of degree and higher level apprenticeships.
The Midlands Engine initiative, to make the Midlands an engine for growth for the UK economy, is being backed by businesses, Local Enterprise Partnerships, emerging combined authorities, education providers, community groups and others with an interest in seeing devolved power to the Midlands.
A detailed Midlands Engine implementation plan will be developed to take forward the key proposals contained within the prospectus. Oversight of this plan will be provided by a permanent leadership group, which is likely to work with a senior Government minister.
To read the full prospectus, please click here.