West Midlands Future Prosperity

Wednesday 28 June 2023
CMI's latest policy paper, West Midlands Future Prosperity, developed in partnership with Aston University, sets out how management skills can boost growth in the region and beyond.
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The West Midlands faces a ‘Triple Gap’ – of productivity, skills and inclusivity. This matters because the West Midlands is the seventh largest regional contributor to the UK economy and the gap is holding both the region – and the wider UK’s growth and productivity – back.

Although only one part of a complex economic jigsaw (national industrial strategy, technology, the green transition and UK trade relations all play crucial roles), the value of management and leadership skills in delivering regional economic growth – and enabling transition – are often overlooked.

However, management and leadership skills are under-supplied in the region. Lightcast data shows that between April 2021 and April 2023, a total of 177,965 managerial job postings were advertised but only 91,902 potential employee CVs with management skills were available. This suggests a mismatch between demand and supply, though it is not in itself conclusive.

Working in partnership, CMI's and Aston University's policy paper, West Midlands Future Prosperity, recommends the additional initiatives that could give the West Midlands the management upgrade it needs to support local, regional and national economic growth:

  • Establishing a partnership for West Midlands management, working with employers, universities, training providers, chartered professional bodies and others in the region to ensure employer support is joined up and funding can be prioritised .
  • Placing management & leadership at the core of the regional skills plan.
  • Implementing direct funding and incentives to improve access and commitment to ongoing management and leadership development.
  • Promoting apprenticeships through a West Midlands Apprenticeship Accelerator, to increase take up and completions, especially among under-served groups.
  • Continuous monitoring and evaluation of the impact of management training, looking at productivity, inclusion and lifelong learning as success measures.

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