Train, attract and retain: increasing Birmingham’s skilled workforce

The skills of a city’s population are the strongest predictor of its economic performance: places with a more skilled workforce tend to have higher wages and be more productive. This is because high-knowledge businesses tend to invest and create jobs in places where they can recruit the workforce they need.

This report from Centre for Cities looks at Birmingham’s skills profile and the implications for its economy. Birmingham has the highest share of people with no qualifications of any UK city, and a lower share of people with high-level qualifications than the national average, making the city relatively less attractive to businesses.

In order to improve the skills of its residents, the report finds that Birmingham should focus on three priority areas:

• Improving the life chances of young people by focusing on early years education uptake and literacy and numeracy across all age groups.

• Setting up the West Midlands Skills Fund to provide more tailored and targeted employment and training programmes, and providing better career guidance to young people.

• Making the city more attractive to high-knowledge businesses to increase job opportunities for graduates from Birmingham but also from the rest of the country. This should be done by focusing on improving the city centre and the transport system.

Centre for Cities is a research and policy institute, working with cities, business and Whitehall to develop and implement policy that supports the performance of urban economies.

Download the full report here:

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