We launched our podcast series last summer, and since then we've discussed a whole range of regional and national issues with experts from business, economics, transport, education, work, skills and local government. Each episode is no more than 30 minutes long and ready to be downloaded to listen to on your commute, lunch break or whenever you have a spare moment. Here's a quick rundown of the episodes so far.
What is GVA and what does it tell us about the economy of the West Midlands and the UK?
This podcast was inspired by the Birmingham Economic Review 2022. In this podcast, Associate Professor Rebecca Riley and Professor Delma Dwight will discuss GVA and what it tells us about the economy of Birmingham, the West Midlands and the UK. As well as talking about GVA as a metric for measuring economic activity.
Small Business Support: Can it be Effective, Highly Visible and Respected?
In this episode, Dr Juliane Schwarz talked to Professor Mark Hart about business support in England. With the recent demise of local enterprise partnerships, another chapter of business support in England has come to an end. The future looks like it will be led by combined authorities, but at the moment, nothing is certain. Professor Hart points out that whilst there is no magic bullet to get us out of this situation, longevity, consistency, and resources are all important.
This podcast was one of the earliest we recorded. In this episode, we examine transport in the West Midlands. Dr Magda Cepeda Zorrilla discusses future mobility with Mike Waters, Director of Policy, Strategy & Innovation, Transport for West Midlands (TFWM).
They discuss the rise in homeworking since the pandemic, its impact on regional transport, and how TFWM has responded to covid-19, the 15-minute city and the 20-minute neighbourhood.
How Can National and Local Skills Policies Encourage Collaboration Between Universities, Colleges and Employers To Drive Productivity, Innovation and Growth?
In this podcast, Professor Chris Millward from the University of Birmingham talked to Peter Creticos, President and Executive Director, at the Institute for Work and the Economy in Chicago and Ewart Keep, Professor of Education, Training and Skills at the University of Oxford.
The skill and training systems in the United States seem well organised and funded, with education providers working with employers to identify and fill skills gaps. We found similarities in Wales and Scotland, where attempts are being made to join up the skills and training landscape. However, in England, the situation was far more pessimistic. An overly centralised system, lacking coherent policy and sufficient funding, with very little effort to encourage HEIs, colleges and employers to work together.
Work and Skills
In this episode, we look at work and skills in the West Midlands. Dr Abigail Taylor discusses the subject with Dr Fiona Aldridge, Head of Insight – Economic Delivery, Skills and Communities, WMCA.
Topics discussed include the impact of digitisation and automation on work and learning, developing broader digital skills and confidence in using technology and digital exclusion.
The Economic and Social Impacts of Mega-Events
This episode was recorded whilst the World Cup was on and Professor Calvin Jones and Dr Matt Lyons discussed the economic and social impacts of mega-events. This discussion includes what do countries gain from hosting events like the World Cup?
Productivity in the West Midlands
In this episode, Associate Professor Rebecca Riley and Charlotte Horobin discuss a recent WMREDI report on Productivity in the West Midlands and how the government can help facilitate growth within the region.
The Future Business District
Johannes Read talked to Mike Best, Senior Director at Turley and a Board Director for the Colmore BID and Kevin Johnson, Managing Director from Urban Communications about the Future Business District.
Business and operations in the West Midlands
Alice Pugh, City-REDI / WMREDI Policy and Data Analyst talks to Henrietta Brealey, Chief Executive Officer, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce about business and operations in the West Midlands. They discuss some of the megatrends accelerated by Covid-19, including hybrid working, online shopping and its impact on town centres, the impact of automation and digitisation, supply chains and the green agenda.
Urban responses to pandemics and economic shocks
Liam O’Farrell, a researcher at the University of Sheffield talks to Claire Spencer, Senior Programme Manager, Inclusive Growth, West Midlands Combined Authority. They discuss inequality in the West Midlands and its exacerbation by Covid-19, ‘left behind’ places, remote working and its impact on cities and finally, what kind of city Birmingham should aim to be.
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.