Monday, 19 June 2017

"A staggering 50,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in the South West in a decade." Which is not surprising, as "the LEP area ranks 32nd out of 39 LEP areas in England for the level of productivity."

The Local Enterprise Partnership in Devon should be about 'enterprise' as such. But it has in fact overseen a drastic decline in enterprise in the region:
Should we judge our LEP by results? | East Devon Watch

As reported by the Western Morning News:

Staggering 50,000 manufacturing jobs lost in a decade

By HannahFinch | Posted: June 15, 2017

Centrax in Newton Abbot is a major employer. It has been acquired by International aerospace engineering group MB Aerospace .

The South West has haemorrhaged more than 50,000 manufacturing jobs in the past decade, a new study by GMB has shown.

The figures were discussed at GMB's annual Congress in Plymouth between June 4 and 6. They reveal that 51,300 jobs in the sector disappeared from 2006 to 2016, a massive fall of 17%.

John Phillips, GMB Regional Secretary, said: "If this sad decline is not addressed then the next generation in the South West will surely pay the price."

Between them the lost jobs have meant the region has seen £560 million less paid in manufacturing wages in real-terms.

Expansion at Plessey in Plymouth has created 400 jobs

In 2006 the South West supported 294,400 permanent and temporary manufacturing jobs – almost 12% of the all jobs in the region. By 2016, that had slumped to just 243,100 or 9% of the total.

Rapidly growing manufacturer Applied Automation is a South West success story

However, manufacturing remains a major contributor to the region's economy. Plymouth Manufacturers group say the manufacturing's contribution to the Devon and Cornwall economy (or GVA) has grown steadily in recent years to £3.8bn.

The sector employs 56,000 people across the two counties: a figure that has been fairly stable for the past three years and which represents approximately 9% of the total employed workforce.

At the same time, the GMB is demanding the Government invests in UK industries and avoids damaging tariffs on British goods to help reverse this dangerous decline.

Mr Phillips said: "The South West is haemorrhaging manufacturing jobs – and it's massive problem for both our workers and our local economy.

Iso Spaces create homes from shipping containers in Cornwall. It is expanding into new premises and taking on more staff

"We should cherish our manufacturing sector, but instead successive governments have driven it into the ground through a lack of investment and tendering processes that hamper our homegrown businesses.

"Manufacturing wages are 20% higher than the national average, and the sector is a keystone of the wider economy. These are jobs worth fighting for."

Staggering 50,000 manufacturing jobs lost in a decade | Devon Live

The future of work is in staking shelves part time:
Here is when the new Newton Abbot Aldi that will create 50 jobs will be open - Devon Live
Unemployment on the rise in Devon but Ikea will help - Devon Live

Here is a piece from earlier in the year:

On the one hand, wages might be good in Exeter, with many commuting from East Devon to take advantage of them.

But on the other, taking the whole of Devon/Somerset, 'the LEP area ranks 32nd out of 39 LEP areas in England for the level of productivity':
Well-paid Exeter workers are the most productive in the West

By HannahFinch | Posted: March 09, 2017

Exeter is well on track to become a global leader on environmental research

Exeter workers are leading the way for earning power in the South West. The city's higher proportion of well paid professional jobs means that every full-timer is worth £59,300 in gross value added to the economy.

Projects like the Met Office supercomputer has kickstarted a hub of specialist science and technology in Exeter - and that produces better paid skilled work

The figures come as the region battles to solve the productivity crisis leaving the UK lagging behind European counterparts, even though we work the most hours. Workers in Devon, Somerset and Cornwall are among the least productive in the country and are lagging behind colleagues in France, Germany and the US who are producing on average as much in four days as UK workers do in five.

And it is not about laziness, but all to do with issues like skills, infrastructure and investment that help businesses thrive.

Now, the region's economic leaders have put productivity top of the agenda - and it may be key to dreams of devolution in the South West.

Consultation ends on Friday for the Heart of the South West's joint LEP and local authority-led Devolution Partnership's Productivity Plan.

Chairman of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Steve Hindley, said: "We aim to create a Productivity Plan that aligns with government strategy to leverage the maximum investment of resources and confidence in this area. We want to build a meaningful picture of what our business community wants to see from a Productivity Plan for this area, putting in place the measures that will deliver growth and prosperity for businesses and residents."

Exeter tops the charts for the best paid jobs - 56% of workers are in higher level occupations in knowledge-intensive sectors like science and technology. Interestingly, people employed in Exeter, including people who commute to the city, are earning more that Exeter residents where the wage is around £48 per week below the average for Exeter employees. 

And because significant numbers of East Devon residents commute to well paid jobs in Exeter, the average wage of East Devon residents is £59 per week higher than the average wage of those who work in East Devon.

The productivity paper shows that Exeter can become a globally recognised centre of excellence in weather and environment-related data analytics due to the Met Office effect. The city leads Europe in combined environmental science, data and computational infrastructure, hosting 400 researchers in environmental and sustainability science.

It also identifies Hinkley Point as a major economic driver, offering £50billion worth of business opportunity. Plymouth leads the world with marine science thanks to Plymouth University's Marine Institute and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, South Yard and the LEPs first Enterprise Zone.

The Heart of the South West productivity plan will form the basis of negotiations with Government for investment and devolved powers. In Cornwall, taking back control over some of the key issues affecting productivity, have been central to its own devolution deal.

Heart of the South West Devolution lead and Leader of Somerset County Council, John Osman, said: "This is an opportunity to put this region at heart of the Government's economic strategy. With the right investment and strategic lead from the Devolution Partnership, we believe it has the potential to become an internationally important business location. This is the first stage of an important process in which public and private sector partners are working together to shape the economic prosperity of our area."

The aim is to improve productivity which will in turn increase wages so households have more cash to spend with more money available for public services.The Government has pinpointed five key issues that affect productivity: skills; innovation; enterprise; capital investment and infrastructure and competition.

The UK plans to close the productivity gap with other G7 countries which is the largest it has been for 30 years. In the Heart of the South West area - covering Devon and Somerset - 80% of the population is employed, above the UK average and close to the best performing countries in Europe. The Heart of the South West has grown employment in the years since the financial crisis and in some places now outperforms the strongest economies in Europe for the level of jobs.

But the LEP area ranks 32nd out of 39 LEP areas in England for the level of productivity. Lower productivity means that on average it takes longer to produce the same goods or services than those economies with a higher level of productivity; and this translates to lower wages and longer hours worked.If the gap between the existing UK productivity rate and the Heart of the South West was closed, every household in the area would be £11,500 better off per year, every year. And if productivity levels matched those found in Germany, the increase per household would be even greater, at £20,000 per year, every year. 

Well-paid Exeter workers are the most productive in the West | Devon Live

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