Business Week delegates examine the need to attract more highly-skilled jobs to Hull

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 9 Jun 2017

The importance of attracting more highly skilled jobs to Hull was laid bare at an event held at Bridgehead Business Park.

The event took place at The View – state-of-the-art business premises that are home to The One Point and IT@Spectrum.

Paul Swinney, chief economist at national think tank Centre for Cities, said Hull city centre had the highest concentration of knowledge intensive business services (KIBS) jobs in the Humber area.

However, he pointed out the city underperformed in comparison with many other city centres across the country.

He said: "The geography of the Humber economy centres on Hull city centre.

"About six per cent of jobs in the Humber (23,300) are based in the city centre, which accounts for just 0.04 per cent of all land in the region.

"But if you look at KIBS jobs in particular, this figure rises to more than 18 per cent of jobs being in the city centre.

"Hull has done well in attracting lots of KIBS jobs, however these tend to be low skilled.

"When you then look at wages and career progression, Hull doesn't do very well."

Mr Swinney said it was crucial the city and Humber region as a whole pushed for policies that attracted more highly skilled jobs to the area – a move that would then boost productivity and in turn attract further investment.

While Mr Swinney's presentation highlighted the need to keep banging the drum for investment in the Humber, the take-home message was far from doom and gloom.

Fellow speaker Andy Parkinson, strategy director at Hull-based Spencer, drew delegates' attention to the economic landmarks Hull had reached since the launch of the City Plan.

Launched in 2012, the plan outlined a strategy to bring 8,000 additional jobs to Hull through a series of ambitions.

The priorities included making Hull a UK energy city, transforming the city into a world-class visitor destination and creating a place of community and opportunity.

Mr Parkinson said: "When the City Plan was launched in 2012, the Siemens deal was nowhere near singed, and yet here we are with Green Port Hull.

"Since then we have also seen Hull become City of Culture and yet back then it was one of 60 projects bidding for the title.

"In terms of unemployment, there has been a stubbornly persistent gap between Hull and the national average but we are also now closing that gap.

"The region is transforming, but the question is how to do it faster."

The event was organised by Emmerson Kitney and Smailes Goldie Group, and formed part of Humber Business Week.

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