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North Needs 500,000 New Jobs - Thinktank


6:48am 29th November 2012

The North needs 500,000 more jobs in private companies.

That's according to a report by thinktank the IPPR, which says the north is being squeezed by London and Scotland.

It also calls for more investment here, the expansion of Manchester Airport and a doubling of apprenticeships.

Ed Cox, the Director of IPPR North, said:

“The prevailing narrative about the economy of the North is most often a negative one. The ‘north/south divide’ is a stock-in-trade and ‘it’s grim up north’ is a familiar refrain. Like all clichés, there is more than an element of truth in this characterisation but the North is capable of taking its place in the ranks of successful northern European economies, with competitive companies trading in global markets, a fully employed and well-skilled workforce, and strong civic leadership that supports growth and shared prosperity.

“Far from lagging behind the rest of the country, if the north of England was to emulate its northern European neighbours then it might just lead the UK economy out of its present lopsided doldrums and towards a more progressive and sustainable economic future. Then and only then will the national debate move on, and the nation as a whole will accept that northern prosperity is national prosperity.”

The report recommends:

  • Full employment: 500,000 extra jobs in the private sector, on the way to a long term goal of an employment rate of 80%.
  • Innovation: A ‘Northern Innovation Council’ endowed with £1bn of the proceeds of the sale of the 4G Spectrum should be established.
  • Investment: A Northern Investment and Trade Board and a Northern investment capacity within a new British Investment Bank.
  • Transport: Manchester Airport become the second international airport hub for the UK and a reduction in the rate of Air Passenger Duty in Northern airports to the lowest (Band A) levels for all flights for an initial period of 3 years. Creation of a new body - Transport for the North - to take power over the Northern Rail Franchise, major hub stations, rolling stock and smart ticketing.
  • Skills & apprenticeships: Double the number of young people in advanced apprenticeships by 2015 from 30,000 to 60,000 and a major expansion of pre-apprenticeship training programmes in Northern FE colleges; and a radical decentralisation of skills policy to local employer networks
  • Housing: Decentralisation of housing finance – Housing Benefit and capital funding for building homes - into Sub-regional Housing Funds through the transfer of £13billion a year out of Whitehall into the three Northern regions.
  • Localism: A single funding pot for economic growth in Local Enterprise Partnership areas, including major local transport funds, HCA funds, skills funding and CLG regeneration and economic development funding such as Kick Start and the Regional Growth Fund. The adoption of directly elected “Metro Mayors” or a suitably named rural alternative.
  • Leadership: An annual ‘N11’ Leaders’ Summit involving each of the 11 LEP areas in the North, headed up by a Northern ‘chair’ to serve for a period of 4 years.

You can watch the full YouTube video summarising their proposals below:

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