Worcestershire named top LEP for skills growth

Gary Woodman, Worcestershire LEP

Worcestershire has achieved the strongest growth in higher level workforce skills for the second year running.

The ‘Inclusive Growth Monitor 2017’ report, compiled by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), concluded that the county had seen the strongest growth in higher level workforce skills across all the UK’s Local Enterprise Partnerships between 2010 to 2015.

The growth has been attributed to a larger number of people in Worcestershire having higher level occupations and a higher quality of educational attainment, which forms a key part of inclusive growth; economic growth that benefits all parts of society.

JRF’s research also highlighted that Worcestershire has again achieved the third highest growth in prosperity in all LEP areas, between 2010 to 2015, which factors in the county’s growing economy and stronger growth in higher level occupations and skills.

The county’s latest success follows the recent announcement that Worcestershire has achieved the highest growth in workforce productivity in the country. Earlier this year, Office of National Statistics data showed Worcestershire had achieved an annual average rate of productivity growth of 3%.

Another factor in the county’s success has been the decision by Worcestershire LEP to invest funds from the Government’s Growth Deal funds into a number of skills-based projects, including the North Worcestershire Engineering Centre of Excellence in Redditch, which was opened earlier this year by Margot James MP.

Gary Woodman, chief executive of Worcestershire LEP, said: “I am delighted that Worcestershire continues to lead the way in terms of growing higher level workforce skills and local prosperity. The latest figures show that we are continuing to drive forward skills development opportunities and, by raising the skills of our local workforce, we are continuing to ensure that our local businesses are well equipped for the future of business with access to a talented employment base.”