Authors: Sara Mahmoud, Stefan Baskerville
Against the backdrop of industrial strategy’s newfound prominence, this study focuses on the areas of Norfolk and Suffolk. Its aim is to examine the possibilities for boosting ‘good jobs’ in these areas whilst supporting the UK’s transition to a low-carbon future. This report focuses on the key sectors of food and drink manufacturing and those associated with the coastal economy; including tourism, fishing and offshore oil and gas and renewable energy. The research is based on interviews with local stakeholders, analysis of quantitative data on the area’s economy and a roundtable discussion at Ipswich Town Hall.
We identified several factors in the Norfolk and Suffolk economies which impact upon prospects for good jobs. These include:
In response to the challenges outlined above, we identified some key areas for change:
The report brings together all of these findings in order to make some recommendations for a successful industrial strategy which would deliver good jobs in Norfolk and Suffolk.
1. Real strategic power at a regional level: a new body to coordinate decision-making and get the right voices round the table.
Regional: a new regional body with leadership and participation from local government, employers, unions, universities and colleges, third sector using a social partnership approach to coordinate infrastructure investment, skills coordination, coastal management and industrial transition.
National: work with local institutions to create a network of regional bodies.
2. Better pay and productivity in the sectors that need it most such as retail, hospitality and food manufacturing.
Regional: New Anglia or new regional body should convene regional sector groups of employers and unions to address questions of pay and productivity. Local government at city, district and county level should adopt the TUC’s Great Jobs Agenda and take action to promote it, including adoption of the real Living Wage as a first step
National: create new sectoral institutions specifically focused on low-paid sectors and take action to reduce zero hour contracts and introduce a premium pay rate for non-guaranteed hours.
3. Skills strategy tailored to demands of local people and firms equipping young people so they can access future opportunities.
Regional: skills budgets should respond to specific challenges faced in different sectors by better connecting business and education institutions and ensuring better careers advice and guidance for young people about future opportunities.
National: devolve skills budgets so local priorities can be met. Reverse cuts to Further Education budgets. Increase re-training support and financial compensation for people affected by transition. Involve trade unions in the new National Institute of Apprenticeships and Institutes of Technology.
4. Investment for the long term: in transport infrastructure, broadband infrastructure, and science and innovation.
Regional: New Anglia or new regional body should conduct a holistic review of infrastructure needed given future developments including energy construction and decommissioning, and develop a coordinated plan.
National: National Infrastructure Commission to engage with and fund local plan. Replace EU funding for innovation post-Brexit, including Horizon 2020 funding for Low Carbon Technologies. Regional growth fund for fisheries to replace the EMFF, focused on ports.
5. People, employers and government shaping the new economy together through strategic planning and appropriate support for workers, with a focus on the development of low-carbon industry and local assets in the region.
Regional: introduce dialogue between workers and decision-makers and planning mechanisms to ensure future trends deliver for local people. Prioritise social impact and community economic development when appraising investment and funding decisions. Adopt a target for community or locally owned energy.
National: introduce greater support and compensation for adults affected by transition. Set an ambitious national target for energy generation from offshore and marine renewables of at least 50% of energy to come from renewables by 2030. Increase support for local energy supply markets.
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