Lessons to be learned from latest job figures Sheffield Chamber

17th April 2014

Sheffield Chamber of Commerce says lessons need to be learned from past mistakes to turn around disappointing employment figures.

While unemployment has fallen nationally to 6.9 per cent, job figures for Yorkshire and the Humber continue to perform badly with unemployment rising to 8.5 per cent the second highest in the country. Sheffield Chamber believes the private sector needs to play a bigger role in the economic programs decision making process within the city region to avoid parochial programs within political boundaries. Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber, said: "The recent Independent Economic Review by the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) indicated we fare badly when compared with other regions, despite millions of pounds of investment over 20 years from Objective 1 and ERDF. "Whatever we have been doing was not as good as other regions, despite having more money to spend. Therefore, we need to do it differently, and the people who have been in charge through that period and are in charge now need to recognise that. -The LEP provides us with an opportunity to work regionally which should be a great help, but that alone will not be enough. We have to understand that public money should not be used to prop up budgets that often have to be spent in a specific time period, but must be invested to make a return i.e. grow the economy. -It is no longer acceptable that Local Authorities work within political boundaries when the economy is at stake, nor can they be the sole designers and decision makers when programs are developed. -They are excellent at program monitoring, for example, but the private sector is good at making money and driving economic growth. We need more of the former at present and reflecting that in the implementation of the growth plan is critical to our future, not least the unemployed!"

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