Greater Manchester is home to the UK’s biggest concentration of businesses and jobs outside of South East England. Our economy has much to be proud of but, even when the economy is doing well, it has underperformed compared to other similar sized cities in the UK and Europe. This means that our businesses are less valuable, jobs are less well paid and local people are less well off as a result.
Independent economists agree that a key reason why our economy ‘punches below its weight’ is low productivity; Greater Manchester’s economy does not make best use of its assets – its workers. While we have a better qualified workforce than ever before, Greater Manchester residents still lag behind other cities in terms of their skills. This is coupled with a low demand from employers in the city region for highly skilled workers. In short, Greater Manchester is trapped in a cycle whereby we have a smaller than average supply of highly skilled workers and a weak demand for the highly skilled.
It was against this background that the Skills and Employment Partnership was formed in January 2012. The Partnership is a voluntary collaboration between employers, colleges and training providers, funding agencies and local authorities around the shared goal set out in the Greater Manchester Strategy of ensuring that our residents have the skills required to meet the demands of employers. It has clear accountabilities, to the Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership, and works with providers to understand and respond to present and future growth and employment and skill needs. At it’s heart sits an intelligence driven approach to economic strategy designed to stimulate and maximise growth.
The Partnership is split into a Strategy Group , Programme Board and Youth Employment Task Group.