Podcast: Productivity in the West Midlands

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In the latest City-REDI podcast, Associate Professor Rebecca Riley and Charlotte Horobin, Region Director for the Midlands & East of England for Made UK, discuss a recent report looking at productivity in the West Midlands, produced by WMREDI.

The Podcast covered the following topics:

Report Findings Vs Charlotte’s Manufacturing Knowledge

Rebecca and Charlotte talk about how the report findings chime with Charlotte’s knowledge about the sector, describing the growth as ‘sluggish’ since the Financial Crash of 2008. Charlotte also speaks about how important productivity is for the community and that no sector is more important than another.

Clip 1: Do the report findings chime with your knowledge of the manufacturing sector in the West Midlands?


Charlotte also discusses how technology can have a huge impact on the industry and the people working in it.

Clip 2: How Technology can increase productivity?

Younger Firms vs Older Firms

Rebecca talks about how older firms are over-represented in the bottom 20% and younger in the top 20%.

Clip 3: How do we help firms help each other?

Support Systems

Charlotte talks about how members want simplified approaches and interventions. She discusses that sometimes it is a cry for help for more money but people don’t interact well with ‘free pots of money’ and more so tax relief and R&D tax credits are used more within the industry.

Policy Recommendations

Charlotte strongly believes in upskilling and how this can help businesses thrive going forward and grow their productivity.

Clip 4: Bringing back the Apprenticeship Levy

Listen to the Podcast in full- Productivity in the West Midlands

Download and view the podcast transcript.

The views expressed in this analysis post are those of the authors and not necessarily those of City-REDI / WMREDI or the University of Birmingham.

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