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In conversation with Business Growth Director, Colin Bell

In May 2018 Government launched a Business Productivity Review. The review considered the ‘firm-level’’ factors that impact productivity and how firm level interventions by the public and private sector can support business growth and productivity improvement.

Here the North East LEP’s Business Growth Director, Colin Bell, explains why this is a critical piece of work and how a collaborative approach has led the response.

Why is this review important to the North East?

The economy has been great at creating jobs, but what we are not seeing is such vibrancy in the jobs market being reflected in people’s living standards and pay packets. Central to the North East’s vision of creating More and Better Jobs is making people’s lives better. Tackling the underlying causes of low levels of productivity is therefore an essential focus for the Government and the North East LEP.

Finding the solution together

In the North East we have been working with a range of partners including the business community, academia and third sector to develop a depth of insight and evidence as to what drives firm level productivity and the approaches to business support that have generated the best results.

Our joint evidence supports the notion that higher levels of leadership skills and the adoption of technology are key drivers of productivity improvement. One of our most powerful findings is that the biggest influence on businesses is exposure to and connectivity with peers who have undergone leadership development, invested in new technology and are now realising the benefits.

This is an important review and we now look forward to working with Government and partners to mobilise our ideas through the creation of the North East’s Local Industrial Strategy.

Access the Business Productivity Review call for evidence here

Access the North East LEP’s response here