Budget signals a green light for the Midlands, but misses opportunity with skills
Midlands Regional Chair and Birmingham Office Senior Partner Karl P Edge comments on the Budget
Midlands Regional Chair and Birmingham Office Senior Partner Karl P Edge comments on the
Commenting on the Budget announcements for the West Midlands made earlier today, Karl Edge, Midlands Regional Chair and Birmingham Office Senior Partner at KPMG UK, said:
“The investment-led recovery that has been further committed to today is a real boon for the Midlands, particularly given the equal spread of spend that we’re seeing this time around between the East and West Midlands. Although not all of the money announced today is new, it was more generous than expected and serves as encouragement following the challenging 18 months that we have all experienced.
“Given the impact of the pandemic on local economies and the closures some industries have faced, the Chancellor has missed an opportunity to invest in upskilling and reskilling. Our region is home to many of the impacted businesses and whilst access to a national shared fund to develop numeracy is welcomed, it’s questionable whether this is enough to ensure that the skills gap starts to close.
“I think there’s a real opportunity for businesses, local government, educational institutions and communities to take the lessons learned, focus on skills and productivity, maximise our rich heritage and secure further investment opportunities to turbo-charge growth. With the economic recovery expected sooner than previously thought, and with ample opportunities like Coventry as City of Culture this year and the Commonwealth Games 2022 on our doorstep, the outlook for the Midlands is certainly an optimistic one.”
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