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15 Jun 16


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A new report into the North West’s productivity challenge was launched  (June 14th 2016) at the Siemens conference at the International Festival of Business in Liverpool. The report was launched in a speech by Chief Executive of Siemens UK, and Chairman of the North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT), Juergen Maier.

The NWBLT report outlines the key actions that business leaders believe have the potential to drive significant improvements in productivity across the North West, raising the overall competitiveness and prosperity of the entire Country.

Productivity is a significant challenge for the North West, which has one of the UK’s largest regional economies, with the highest manufacturing output.  The region produces 9% of the UK’s total exports and remain a cornerstone of industrial production.  However reliance upon low-wage, low-cost industry and an abnormally high level of public sector employment continues to hinder growth.

In 2012, GVA per job in the North West was £39,210 compared with £45,100 for the rest of the Country.  The region lags behind the average UK productivity levels in all sectors except manufacturing; indeed Greater Manchester’s productivity is around £10 billion behind the UK average and continues to deteriorate.

North West Business Leadership Team Chairman, Juergen Maier stressed the needs for business leaders to rise to the challenge:

‘In the UK, 75% of the productivity gap is explained by weaknesses in management practice and ambition. We have the opportunity to be in the driving seat of the fourth industrial revolution, but only if we raise our level of ambition across the region quite significantly.

I am working as part of the national Productivity Leadership Group, Chaired by Charlie Mayfield and personally leading the manufacturing strand of this important work for the UK. The North West Business Leadership Team is pledging to support the national initiative by instigating a North West action programme. 

We absolutely recognise that we do not have a monopoly of ideas for addressing our region’s relatively poor productivity performance.  So today the NWBLT is calling on every North West business leader to get involved and take action to drive up our productivity. We must deliver increased investment in R&D, innovation, skills and a culture that nurtures, celebrates, and rewards enterprise.

We have outstanding opportunities to unlock our full economic potential in this region – and the time for action is now.’

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