Human Capitals: Driving UK Metro Growth through Workforce Investment - RSA

Human Capitals: Driving UK Metro Growth through Workforce Investment


  • Community and place-based action
  • Public services

The City Growth Commission considers skills development and in-work progression as factors in raising productivity and contributing to city growth. 

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Long-term economic prosperity depends on employers growing through recruitment, utilisation and investing in the skills of their workers. The potential is huge: 43 percent of workers have skills they aren’t using at work.

Government interventions in the skills agenda frequently focus on public sector provision of further education. However, the nature and scale of skills policy challenges vary considerably across each of the UK’s major metro areas.

Interventions must be locally responsive in order for investment to be well targeted. Locally accountable authorities need power to control government spending on skills, and set local labour market policy, at a scale commensurate with metro labour markets.

Stronger local powers and national incentives:

  • Control Adult Skills Budgets locally at the metro level

  • Pilot Workforce Development Personal Budgets

  • Create a redundancy retraining voucher scheme

  • Provide a statutory framework for metro minimum wage

Smarter approaches to targeted investment:

  • Fund Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) through a one percent levy, ringfenced from all public funding for adult skills provision

  • Offer a labour market integration programme for international arrivals

  • Create sector specialisms among JobCentre Plus branches in large metros

Visit the City Growth Commission website for more information.

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