Improving skills and reducing unemployment
Game-changing investments such as HS2 mean that jobs in Greater Birmingham are forecast to increase significantly, with an additional 68,000 lower skilled jobs and 100,000 more medium and high skilled jobs due to be created between 2015-30. In order to drive this growth, it is clear that we must develop, retain and attract more talent. We want local people to be inspired and skilled to fill these employment opportunities and continue to develop their skills throughout their careers, thereby driving productivity and attracting new investment.
Meanwhile, the working age population has a relatively poor skills profile; with a low proportion with NVQ2, NVQ3, NVQ4 and degree level or high qualifications and a higher than average proportion with no qualifications. Skill levels are improving, but we need to do more, and to close the long-standing skills and employment gaps between the area and the UK/Core City LEP average. The employment rate in Greater Birmingham is also well below the national average.
We have three key themes in our skills framework: Ignite / Accelerate and Retune that provide the foundation for all activity.
A key part of our skills agenda is to increase the number of apprenticeships provided, particularly in key growth sectors, and ensure that employers in the Greater Birmingham area are well equipped to maximise the opportunities presented through the Apprenticeship levy. This is a cross cutting theme across all areas of our strategy.