Press release:

West Midlands growth needs stronger management says new research published by the Chartered Management Institute

Thursday 29 June 2023
  • New analysis from CMI shows huge demand for management skills in the West Midlands with demand not meeting supply.
  • The research is being launched in Birmingham at a joint event with the WMCA and Aston University, and involving key employers, policymakers, and education and training providers in the region.
  • Recent data reveals a growing demand for management skills in the West Midlands, with job postings mentioning "management" increasing by 75% and "leadership" by 280% over the past decade.
  • Further research indicates a significant disparity between the number of managerial job postings (177,965) and the available CVs with management skills (91,902) between April 2021 and April 2023.


29 June - Analysis by the CMI finds that despite being the 7th largest contributor to the UK economy, the West Midlands faces significant challenges in terms of management and leadership training, particularly in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The West Midlands is facing a triple gap: weak productivity, skills mismatches and inclusion challenges which, if left unaddressed, will hold back growth in the region and in the wider UK.

CMI's research shows that quality, structured management and leadership training is essential to address these gaps.

A lack of management and leadership skills means that too many decision-makers across businesses in the West Midlands lack the adequate training and do not perform to the best of their capabilities, and this is hampering productivity, employee engagement, and overall well being.

By strengthening management capability in the region, the aim is to create a new growth model built on a skilled and confident managerial workforce, propelling the West Midlands towards a prosperous future.

Ann Francke, CEO of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), said:

Good management and leadership are essential ingredients for economic growth, productivity, and creating inclusive work environments. Through our unique position as the chartered body for management and leadership, we want to work with businesses, education and policy makers in the region to enhance skills, boost diversity, and increase productivity in the West Midlands. Together, we can make a real difference in driving this dynamic region's success."

Dr Fiona Aldridge, Head of Insight & Intelligence at the West Midlands Combined Authority, emphasised the critical role of leadership and management capability in advancing the West Midlands economy:

Our region’s leadership and management capability will be one of the most critical factors in driving forward our West Midlands economy.

A priority commitment for the West Midlands Combined Authority is therefore to invest more into leadership and management skills. This investment will support our Plan for Growth1, an ambitious strategy which aims to unlock the full potential of businesses and organisations that are grouped into a number of key growth clusters.

Sectors ranging from advanced manufacturing to the creative industries will benefit from our leadership and management training – and, importantly, we will be looking to support those running smaller and medium-sized businesses, as well as reaching people who might not otherwise get access to this type of support.”

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Notes to editors

Plan for Growth: the West Midlands Combined Authority has identified eight economic cluster areas in the region featuring businesses with high growth potential, including manufacturing of electrical vehicles; health-tech and med-tech; aerospace; logistics and distribution; professional and financial services; creative content production, such as gaming; manufacturing of future housing; plus modern and low carbon utilities.

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The report is available here:

About the Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

The Chartered Management Institute is the professional body for managers and leaders. We have a membership community of over 200,000 aspiring and practising managers and more than 150,000 people are currently studying on one of our management and leadership programmes. Our Royal Charter defines our charitable mission as increasing the number and standard of professionally qualified managers and leaders.