Jessica Bowles, Director of Strategy at Bruntwood, reacts to the launch of Education and Skills report – Educating the North:
“This report shows how the education system in the North is not currently performing to its potential and makes a compelling case for change. Bruntwood is hugely supportive of the vision set out to close the education and skills gap and narrow the long-standing and widening productivity gap for future generations.
It makes the case for how businesses can provide support to over 900,000 Northern schoolchildren, which could play a vital role in helping raise the aspirations of young people in the North. It is also positive to see radical steps such as an ambition to devolve more power to Metro Mayors to allocate funding for adult education and vocationally educational spending - this could be effective way to address issues the Apprentice levy has failed to resolve.
At Bruntwood we’re committed to making our great city regions even greater and this includes inspiring young people in our cities to achieve their full potential. We strive to have a positive impact on local communities and are heavily involved in supporting education at every level, from supporting youth projects such as The Factory Youth Zone in Manchester, to providing support for enterprise education, mentoring and work experience, to our close partnerships with universities across the North.
The report highlights, as expected, that poor skills and inadequate training remains a major area of concern. if the North is to achieve its true economic potential, skills and expertise are the bedrock of high growth future-facing companies. They are also vital in the quest for higher productivity and competitiveness. Bruntwood’s partnerships, in MSP and with the planned UA 92 at Old Trafford in Manchester are direct examples of how we are committed to helping to attract and develop the best graduate talent in the North. This is a centrepiece of Bruntwood’s strategy in all of the cities we operate in and we will continue to work with our education partners to inspire students and graduates to achieve their absolute best.”