How to create good jobs in England’s towns
29 March 2023
Despite the rhetoric of levelling up, progress on spreading opportunity more fairly across the regions and nations of the UK has stalled, and in some cases is going backwards as the cold grip of a pandemic then cost of living crisis impacts the poorest and least resilient places the most. [...] • There are towns in deprived areas that are home to emerging high value added sectors – this productivity potential must be nurtured to form the basis of more resilient local economies in places where access to good jobs can otherwise be limited.ivv • If the share of the local working age population without any formal qualifications was reduced in every area to the rate seen in the top 10% of loc. [...] CPP analysis for this paper shows that the number of apprenticeship participants in the most deprived 20% of local authorities fell by nearly 100,000 between 2016/17 and 2021/22, while remaining broadly the same for those in the least deprived quintile.xvi Recently the government has taken steps to upskill the adult population through the expansion of lifelong learning initiatives, most notably th. [...] For instance, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has identified the transport and storage sector as the fastest growing part of the economy of which there is a significant concentration of jobs in the ‘golden logistics triangle’ that covers many towns in the Midlands.xxiv But the sector’s employment practises are poor, with many business models built around insecure hiring through agencies,. [...] Policy recommendations To respond to the specific economic and governance challenges facing towns, and within the context of past policy successes and failures, this paper makes a series of recommendations related to increased devolution and enhanced local spending power, more robust skills and industrial policy.