The Northern Powerhouse. An ambitious project that is trying to rebalance our economy by integrating Greater Manchester with Leeds, Tyneside, Sheffield, Liverpool, Bradford, Wakefield, Kingston upon Hull and York. Supposedly, increased government investment and greater connectivity provided by the Northern Powerhouse Rail will link these cities of the North, to help contribute to creating a skilled workforce. This should allow 850,000 extra jobs to be created, which could generate an extra £100 billion to the UK economy by 2050.
Sounds great, right?
Although, what about the focus of this – young people. A quarter of Northern schools are rated as in need of improvement and there are currently 180,000 working-age people in the Northern Powerhouse region with no qualifications. It is vital that young adults and workers receive appropriate skills training, so they can reap these rewards of greater connectivity and new employment opportunities. Otherwise, why bother? The project sets out to train, retain and up-skill its workforce through an incoming £300m increase in government funding for disadvantaged areas. However, it is unclear right now exactly what methods will be taken and to what timescale. It’s clear that this will be a long, gradual process.
If we can take anything away from the project, it’s that something needs to be done.
Here at Xplode, we offer employability training for young people, completely peer-to-peer led, to try and make sure they have the best chance of getting the job they deserve. There’s a big task ahead, but smaller actions like this will help create future results; into a place we can really call a Northern Powerhouse.