The West Midlands faces significant challenges to creating an inclusive economy: just under 600,000 people are income deprived and three in ten children are growing up in poverty.
A significant minority of businesses report vacancies they cannot fill due to skills shortages – ranging from 18% in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership area to 28% in the Black Country (across England it is 22%) (UKCES, 2015).
- The election of a Mayor for the West Midlands is an opportunity to demonstrate how to achieve inclusive growth – growth that benefits everyone across the city region. Such an approach would have clear economic, fiscal and social benefits.
- Each time an out-of-work benefit claimant moves into a job paying the voluntary Living Wage (which is set with regard to the cost of essentials) the boost to the local economy is £14,400 on average.
- In the West Midlands mayoral area just under 600,000 people are income deprived and three in ten children are growing up in poverty.