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Call for action to improve region’s productivity

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The need to increase productivity is a priority for the East of England, despite the region’s businesses sitting at the top of the rankings for R&D spending, according to research for the CBI’s Reviving Regions initiative. It shows that the East ranks below the national average for productivity - third of nine English regions - and is losing ground.

The research, supported by Lloyds Banking Group, highlights a low percentage of businesses investing on training and relatively poor digital connectivity. High house prices and commuting times saw the region score poorly on social metrics. But the region scores well for the quality of its schools and benefits from high levels of employment, and fewer areas of deprivation.

Richard Tunnicliffe, CBI East of England director, said: “The East of England boasts a number of strength sectors, such as renewable energy, life sciences, advanced manufacturing and professional and financial services. Regional successes include a thriving R&D ecosystem and knowledge economy, strong international connectivity, and renowned higher education providers.

“Catapult centres for offshore renewable energy and cell and gene therapy exemplify regional excellence, and the forthcoming freeports – Freeport East and Thames – can prove major assets. Development of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc will also have a positive impact. There is much to build upon.

“However, even amid these successes, challenges remain. Action is needed to address skills gaps, particularly in green and renewable industries. Long-awaited improvements to regional road and rail connections can facilitate new ways of working, along with work to prevent digital exclusion in rural and coastal areas.

“It needs a concerted effort by both public and private sectors to combat these challenges. Business and government must join forces to rebuild the East of Engla

Matt Hubbard, Lloyds Banking Group’s ambassador for the East of England, said: “As with many regions, the East of England has its challenges when it comes to productivity and we must all work together to ensure no one living here is left behind. This should be a priority for leaders in this region, whether in the public or private sectors ..."

 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 11 May 2021 15:59 )