During the 2016 Autumn Statement, the Chancellor launched the Northern Powerhouse Strategy. This Strategy set out the Government’s main priorities for building the Northern Powerhouse.
In February 2017, the Government announced a series of stakeholder engagements on the Northern Powerhouse to help identify what further measures could be taken to unleash the North’s economic potential.
As part of this engagement piece, key stakeholders were invited to complete a questionnaire based around the policy parameters set out in the Northern Powerhouse Strategy: (1) connectivity, (2) education and skills, (3) enterprise and innovation, and (4) trade and investment.
Carillion responded to the Stakeholder Engagement Questionnaire in April 2017.
In our response, we made a number of recommendations, which included;
- We agree with the Northern Powerhouse policy themes but believe that to rank themes according to priority is too simplistic an approach. The policy themes are inextricably interlinked and cannot in isolation drive the transformational change required
- The shortage of STEM skills in the workforce, especially amongst the young, remains a concern
- We need to address the fundamental root causes of the ‘brain drain’ which results in young, skilled individuals – often graduates, leaving the North to find employment in London and the South East
- It is critical that the Government invests in transport infrastructure within the Northern Powerhouse; an investment in infrastructure will mean that the large cities within the Northern Powerhouse can act as a single competitive area, pooling together skills and resources
- The UK contains many distinct regions, and we must recognise the importance of local initiative and leadership. We welcome the devolution of powers to a local level, as we believe that local people must drive transformational change