In Sheffield City Region, the development of the Strategic Economic Plan [SEP] included a clear aim to ensure that it reflected and supported principles of inclusive growth.
To this end, the Centre for Regional Economic Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University were commissioned as a partner with Sheffield City Region [LEP]. Their role was to help develop a vision of ‘inclusive growth’ that was relevant and practical for Sheffield, and to advise on how this could be achieved.
In the specific case of SCR, the main challenges related to low skills levels among the local population, and also low wages. Among the interventions designed as part of the SEP are:
- Building in conditionality on business relationships, to ensure that suppliers and contractors maintain good practice on issues such as conditions of employment, providing good-quality apprenticeships, etc.
- Influencing skills providers to employ a good match with skills demand from employers and opportunities to improve strategic skills supply.
Key lessons from this process include:
- The importance of a good understanding of local challenges.
- Commitment to building bespoke, placebased ways to address these.
- Embracing the convening and influencing power of local and combined authorities, using this to align interests and use leverage.