Continued Progress in the Midlands
Posted on Friday, January 25, 2019 by Venn Group — No comments
In recent years, the Midlands has made good headway in establishing itself as a player in the global market, and this looks set to continue. Avtar Singh, our Director for the Midlands considers the prospects for 2019:
2019 will see the Midlands attempt to continue to close the productivity gap in the Midlands Engine area, which was £7500 GVA per worker below the national average in 2015. Raising productivity rates will facilitate a raise in wages, and have a positive impact on the global competitiveness of the region. The main way in which this will come to fruition is through the region promoting itself as the home of opportunity; attracting more business to the area. According to EY, the Midlands already has the fastest growing economy outside of the South East, and there are more opportunities on the horizon.
The Midlands is set to invest heavily into itself. Transport improvements will be at the forefront of this; most notably HS2. This project will mark a huge improvement on connectivity levels to the capital. KPMG estimates this will result in a growth in workplace employment of 10,000 and a total annual workplace GVA increase of £600 million. While this raises the region’s profile on a national level, the Midlands will also continue to have impact internationally. Major global companies such as Rolls-Royce, Jaguar Land Rover, Toyota and JCB help to make the Midlands the only UK region with an export surplus to China. The region exports to over 100 countries, with Birmingham Airport and East Midlands Airport connecting the Midlands to the global economy. In addition, international events such as the Commonwealth Games and Coventry’s winning bid for City of Culture 2021 mean that the area is primed to continue to build its reputation in 2019, which will attract further investment.
The region’s existing manufacturing base is also set to continue to thrive. The area is home to nationally significant manufacturers, with over 600,000 people working in the industry. They in turn deliver over one-fifth of the UK’s annual manufacturing output. Advanced manufacturing is complemented by the strong science and research base in the Midlands. There are 20 universities in the region, three of which have been ranked in the top 150 in the world; Warwick, Birmingham, and Nottingham. These collaborate with local businesses, meaning manufacturing companies based nearby are well positioned to benefit from the latest advances.
Finally, the Midlands is set to continue to grow its profile in new industries. Currently, nearly 300 finance, professional and business services companies are headquartered in Birmingham. This sector employs around 100,000 people in the city and is strengthened by the recent arrival of HSBC to the area. There are also plans to develop the reputation of its thriving digital sector. The University of Leicester boasts an award-winning data centre and offers support for spinout companies. Additionally, De Montfort University’s ‘Innovation Centre’ is central to Leicester’s digital tech scene, and towards the end of 2018 it was revealed that the West Midlands will be the first large-scale test bed for 5G technology. EY believe that this investment will put the region at the forefront of innovation, subsequently attracting high-tech start up companies to the area, in addition to other businesses looking to be at the cutting-edge of technology.
If you are looking for a new opportunity or for exceptional professionals in the Midlands, do not hesitate to get in touch with our team by calling 0121 6160660 and speak to the following sector specialists:
IT: Andrew Wilkinson
HR & Communications: Jack Sharpe
Finance & Accountancy: Ryan O’Toole and Luke Grant
Estates & Facilities: Stuart Birt
Housing: Thomas Brown
Legal: Lauren Skinner
Construction & Engineering: Fabian Liladhar
Procurement: Stuart Birt