Cities need greater power, says report

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Major cities need greater independence if the UK economy is to be successfully rebalanced, a meeting in Rotherham heard.

A report from the RSA City Growth Commission was launched at Sheffield University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at Orgreave.

The commission is chaired by University of Sheffield graduate and former chief economist of Goldman Sachs, Jim O’Neill.

Its second report contains recommendations to help Britain’s regional cities thrive and complement London’s economic success.

It concludes that economic growth is best supported by addressing skills mismatches in the labour market at a metro level – with local administrations in cities having the power to control government spending on skills.

The report also says that the UK skills system has been slow to adapt to changes in the economy, and to employers’ demand for not only new skills, but also new ways of working and communicating.

But the AMRC is highlighted as a ‘progressive institution’ which is providing a model for drawing tutors from skilled trades and ensuring learners apply themselves.