Brief update on developments since your last presentation in October/November last year… Now, officially the UK economy is in recession and the Gross Domestic Product fell by 1.5% (worse than has been expected) in the last three months of 2008. The figures, from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), showed that manufacturing made the largest contribution to the slowdown , contracting by 4.6% despite hopes that the weak pound would help exporters. With the exception of agriculture, all elements of the economy shrank from the previous three months. Evidence now suggests that during the early part of the recession finance, manufacturing, hotels and restaurants have been hardest hit. Note this is an updated slide – trend seen in export orders likely to be due to the weakening pound. [we don’t have regional trends for this- there is approx 18 month lag. However, evidence points to SE sharing in manufacturing slow down…]
Unemployment is increasing sharply, the latest release of unemployment figures in Feb 2009, reported 1.97 million unemployed. The unemployment rate for the South East now stands at 4.9% (compared to the UK rate of unemployment of 6.3%) Job seekers Allowance The number of people in the South East claiming JSA in January 2009 broke the 100,000 mark for the first time since April 1999. Feb 2009 figures show that this figure now stands at circa 115,000. Over the past year, Southampton, Isle of Wight (and Milton Keynes) have seen the fastest growth in the percentage of people claiming JSA amongst all counties and unitaries in the South East – next slide gives map…. Note – the claimant count isn’t an official measure of unemployment but is useful as it is timely (released monthly) and can be used to look at changes at district and unitary level. This data is not seasonally adjusted but broadly speaking, seasonally adjusted data shows similar results.
Speaker to introduce self Role within PUSH
Speaker to introduce self Role within PUSH
Slide taken from Pam’s presentation at RES Conference Developing these themes suggests that the focus for our investment to 2019 should be on transformational programmes with broad reach: continuing to deliver our support for businesses; to drive productivity increases and strengthen competitiveness; Supporting the success of international traders, giving greater focus to our work with global investors in the south east, and looking to new sources of funds such as the sovereign wealth funds and international pension funds; continuing to support high growth companies to innovate and to commercialise science based Research and Development, including using public procurement and regulation to drive investment in new markets and growth sectors as diverse as environmental and clean energy technologies, assisted living and digital security; Identifying the strategic infrastructure of global competitiveness across the region with continuing direct investment in physical development, supported by new relationships with the HCA and use of new mechanisms such as the RIF; continuing to lead and drive mainstream investment in education led regeneration projects alongside the LSC and HEFCE. The current economic imperatives offer an effective filter for prioritising investment in the fundamentals of future shared prosperity. We currently have 700 plus projects underway. That is not the focus we need. Through discussion with partners we should invest in the transformational activities that cannot be achieved by local or single agency working alone.
Skills and employability - the new challenge 23 April 2009 Anne-Marie Mountifield
Recommendation (2): Train to Gain should be offered more flexibly to Reading businesses to address skills gaps in key areas like customer service, communication, sales/ marketing and IT, and subsidies used as an incentive to get more employers engaged Our response: Skills for Business campaign; skills co-ordination
What is Skills for Business ? Response to skills gaps identified: Skill area % employers Customer service skills 14 Communication skills 14 Sales/marketing skills 12 IT – user skills 11 IT – professional/ technical skills 10
Skills for Business targets 50 companies signing Skills Pledge, and: Academic yr 08/09 starts 150 training places (Skills for Life, Level 2, Level 3 and Apprenticeships) Academic year 09/10 starts 60 training places (Skills for Life, Level 2 and Level 3)