Posted on 28 October 2008 by Stewart Meikle
Business support services such as Business Link, Manufacturing Advisory Service and Train to Gain are an important part of the assistance offered to business to help them start, grow and prosper.
The last three years have seen significant changes in the way this support has been organised and delivered and the time is now right to evaluate how things are working out and what changes might be beneficial.
The way in which these services are delivered varies from region to region, so each region is evaluating their services differently. Here in the West Midlands, the Observatory has been asked to manage the research and analysis part of the evaluation. The work is being done speedily and will complete by the end of November.
Filed under: Economy & Labour Force, Enterprise, Research, West Midlands | Tagged: Business Link, business support, Manufacturing Advisory Service, MAS, Train to Gain | Leave a comment »
Posted on 24 October 2008 by Oliver Nicholls
The Observatory’s State of the Region Report will feature on the regional section of the BBC’s Politics Show this Sunday (26th Oct 08). The programme starts at 12pm on BBC1. Hope you get chance to watch.
ADDED 28/10/08: The article can be viewed on the BBC’s iplayer. The Observatory features about 43 minutes in and will be available until next Sunday (02/11/08).
Filed under: Skills, West Midlands, West Midlands Regional Observatory | Tagged: bbc, Ian Austin, Learning & Skills Council, Mike Bell, Observatory, Politics Show, qualifications, Skills, State of the Region, West Midlands | Leave a comment »
Posted on 22 October 2008 by Gavin Wray
At our recent Annual Conference there were four printed briefing papers on the Observatory booth. These briefing papers introduce four key current and forthcoming research projects.
If you didn’t get a copy, the briefings are available to download below:
Filed under: Annual Conference, Economic inclusion, Enterprise, Population, Research, Skills, Sustainable development, West Midlands | Tagged: Annual Conference, Research, West Midlands Regional Observatory | Leave a comment »
Posted on 21 October 2008 by John Walker
The Environment Minister, Jane Kennedy, today announced plans for size ‘Zero Waste Places’ and amongst them was the West Midlands.
Under the new plans, the West Midlands will create a Zero Waste Region, focusing on businesses and organisations that produce a large quantity of waste, identifying region-wide waste infrastructure needs, improving cooperation and cutting business waste right across the region.
Filed under: Sustainable development, West Midlands | Tagged: environment, Sustainable development, waste, zero waste places | Leave a comment »
Posted on 17 October 2008 by Lauren Amery
October has been an important month for colleagues at the West Midlands Regional Observatory.
Not only was the State of the Region Report 2008 launched, along with the Regional Integrated Economic Assessment, the Observatory held its annual conference, attracting a good cross-section of the region’s key thinkers and policy-makers. In all three cases, the importance of culture, particularly to the region’s economy, was highlighted.
Filed under: Annual Conference, Cultural Observatory, culture, Innovation, West Midlands | Tagged: Annual Conference, Cultural Observatory, cultural research, culture, Innovation, NESTA, West Midlands, West Midlands Regional Observatory, WMRO | Leave a comment »
Posted on 16 October 2008 by Stewart Meikle
The subject of economic migrants and what benefits or problems they bring has not been quite as topical in recent months as it has been in the past.
The downturn in the economy and the weakening of the pound are assumed to discourage migration and to encourage economic migrants in the UK to think of returning home.
Filed under: Research | Tagged: economic migrants, England, foreign workers, migrant workers, migration, Poland, Polish | 4 Comments »
Posted on 16 October 2008 by Lauren Amery
Posted on 16 October 2008 by John Walker
The new Energy & Climate Change secretary Ed Miliband (pictured) has today announced that he is to accept the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change to introduce a tougher target on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.
The report by the Committee recommended a new target of a reduction in GHG emissions of 80% per annum by 2050 strengthening the existing 60% target.
The West Midlands has the same 60% target to 2050 and is aiming for a 26-32% reduction by 2020 to demonstrate progress.
The revised target does not include aviation or shipping emissions.
Filed under: Environment, Sustainable development, West Midlands | Tagged: climate change, Committee on Climate Change, Ed Miliband | Leave a comment »
Posted on 15 October 2008 by Gavin Wray
Today is Blog Action Day when thousands of bloggers unite to write about a single issue on the same day from their own angle. This year the issue is poverty.
In December 2007, we produced some analysis of the West Midlands’ performance on the Indices of Deprivation 2007, along with comparisons with the rest of England (PDF, 110KB).
Filed under: Data, Economic inclusion, West Midlands, West Midlands Regional Observatory | Tagged: indices of deprivation, poverty, statistics, West Midlands, West Midlands Regional Observatory, WMRO | 1 Comment »
Posted on 15 October 2008 by Brian MacAulay
Tony Buzan, the innovative thinker behind influential concepts such as Mind Maps and Speed Reading, will speaking at the Thinktank, Millennium Point, in Birmingham on 6th November 2008. Tony Buzan was named in 1994 by Forbes magazine as one of five top international lecturers along with Mikhail Gorbachev, Henry Kissinger and Margaret Thatcher.
The event, organised by the Innovation Owners Network and supported by ContactKE, is free of charge (places limited). This is an exciting opportunity to hear from Tony Buzan and to learn more about existing and new ideas to advance, as well as support, developing new ideas.
For more details on the event and how to register, email Professor Adrian Cole at Adrian.Cole@tic.ac.uk.
Filed under: Birmingham, Events, Innovation | Tagged: Birmingham, Contact KE, Innovation, innovation owners network, mind maps, tony buzan | Leave a comment »
Posted on 14 October 2008 by Oliver Nicholls
Well, our conference is over for another year – and what a conference it was! A packed Royal Court Hotel enjoyed speeches from our new regional minister, Ian Austin, as well as Professor Carl Chinn and Professor Alan Harding.
Left to right: Richard Hyde (Chair of the Observatory), Ian Austin MP (Minister for the West Midlands), Rosie Paskins (Chief Executive of the Observatory)
Ian Austin (centre) launched the Observatory’s State of the Region 2008 report, saying:
“Through the State of the Region process it is good to see that the West Midlands Regional Observatory is putting in place practical measures to bring policy makers and research experts together.”
Filed under: Annual Conference, Research, West Midlands, West Midlands Regional Observatory | Tagged: Alan Harding, Carl Chinn, Ian Austin, richard hyde, rosie paskins, State of the Region, West Midlands, West Midlands Regional Observatory | 2 Comments »
Posted on 10 October 2008 by Gavin Wray
The West Midlands is the first English region to produce a Regional Integrated Economic Assessment. The aim of the project is to provide an assessment of the performance of the West Midlands’ economy and of the factors which contribute to it. It also assesses the relative position of the different parts of the region.
The Assessment is made up of:
- An overarching regional summary (PDF, 1.7MB)
- Three thematic chapters:
- Local authority area profiles for each of the 14 strategic authorities
Filed under: Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Economic inclusion, Economy & Labour Force, Enterprise, Herefordshire, Innovation, Population, Sandwell, Shropshire, Skills, Solihull, Staffordshire, Walsall, Warwickshire, West Midlands, West Midlands Regional Observatory, Wolverhampton, Worcestershire | Tagged: Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, economy, Herefordshire, Sandwell, Shropshire, Solihull, Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Telford and Wrekin, Walsall, Warwickshire, West Midlands, West Midlands Regional Observatory, Wolverhampton, Worcestershire | Leave a comment »
Posted on 7 October 2008 by Brian MacAulay
The latest West Midlands Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Survey released today makes grim reading as it reports further declines in economic output and a worsening of prospects for the next quarter.
Manufacturing firms in the West Midlands reported significant falls in domestic orders and further worsening of exports. This is impacting on investment and confidence, with fewer firms reporting plans for capital investment as expectations of profitability and turnover decline.
In services the picture is mixed, with domestic orders falling but strong growth in exports. Employment growth, while positive, has slowed on the previous quarter and cashflow has deteriorated. In the light of the continuing uncertainty the survey reports business confidence levels falling.
Filed under: Data, West Midlands | Tagged: Chamber of Commerce, economic trends, investment, manufacturing, survey, trade, West Midlands, West Midlands economy | Leave a comment »