South Yorkshire’s economy ‘lacks clout’ after the demise of regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, Labour’s Lord Adonis has claimed.
The Labour peer is conducting a review of regional economic growth similar to one carried out by Tory grandee Lord Hestletine.
Lord Adonis has also called for funding and decision-making around training and adult education to be devolved to regions, to help provide a more skilled workforce.
He said: “My growth review is looking at big ideas around skills. One manufacturer is leaving South Yorkshire because it can’t find the right staff.
“We need a big increase in technical apprenticeships and, while Sheffield’s new university technical college is a great step forward, we need three or four.”
Lord Adonis said by giving control of funding and decision-making to local officials, better efforts can be made to improve South Yorkshire’s economy.
He added that while the area’s Local Enterprise Partnership, through which businesses and councils meet to discuss policies and spending on infrastructure, has improved connections between the public and private sector, it lacks the ‘clout’ of Yorkshire Forward. The former development agency had a larger budget and influence with ministers.