Building a low carbon country

Ed Miliband MP

Ed Miliband MP

The transition to a low-carbon economy will be one of the defining issues of the 21st century. This plan sets out a route-map for the UK’s transition from here to 2020.

Ed Miliband MP, 15 July 2009

Ed Miliband, Secretary of State of Energy and Climate Change, yesterday launched  a national strategy for climate and energy.

The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan is the government’s plan for how the UK will meet the cut in emissions set out in the budget of 34% on 1990 levels by 2020.

The government has placed transforming the country into a cleaner, greener and more prosperous place at the heart of its new economic plans. This document is their way of ensuring that the UK is ready to take advantage of the opportunities ahead.

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Tender for women’s enterprise research

Jewellery makingThe Women’s Enterprise Centre of Expertise has released a tender to conduct women’s enterprise research in the West Midlands.

The deadline for submissions is 21st July 2009.

Research rationale

There is currently a gap in regional women’s enterprise research which takes a strategic view of policy, documentary and research evidence, even though much has been done to promote the agenda across the region.

The absence of such a strategic view means that there is potential for women’s enterprise support to be divided into staged programmes (pre-start, start and growth as separate delivery systems).

The consequence of this division is that those programmes that cannot directly be seen to contribute to regional value-added, as they are too small or development, run the risk of losing budget or being stopped altogether because they cannot meet the strict evaluation criteria represented by Gross Value Added indicators.

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Modelling population change in the West Midlands: call for information

Crowd walking up and down stairsHow do you try to understand the changes that are happening in your populations? Have you developed a model to try to understand population change? If so, we would be interested to hear from you.

As part of our State of the Region dialogue on population change, we’re looking for regional examples of how people have modelled population change, particularly where they are not based on the Office for National Statistics’ population projections.

We know that there are several different models used across the West Midlands in different policy areas. In this year’s State of the Region report we will try to bring these together and summarise the various models that are used.
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Investment in higher level skills needed to kick start the region’s recovery

Person sat next to computer screens at Serious Games Institute, Coventry UniversityInvestment in higher level skills is vital to kick start the region’s recovery from recession but the proportion of the workforce qualified to degree level or above is well below the national average, particularly in the private sector.

New research (pdf, 258kb) by the West Midlands Regional Observatory shows that overall investment in skills and training is holding up despite the recession.

In the first quarter of 2009, three quarters of manufacturing firms and 80% of service sector firms were planning to either increase or maintain levels of spending on training despite the recession – in both cases the second highest proportion in England.

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Views of life sciences sector delivered to Government

Medilink West MidlandsFollowing the recent call to the the life sciences sector to gather views on what Government can do to help them, a proposal of crucial initiatives that the Government can implement to make an immediate impact on the prosperity of the sector was delivered to the Office of Life Sciences on Wednesday 1 July 2009.

It covers four main themes:

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ONS Regional Trends report puts regions under the spotlight

Office for National Statistics logoYoung people aged 16 and 17 in the West Midlands were more likely to not be in employment, education or training (NEET) than any other UK region in 2007.

This is just one of the findings of the latest annual ONS Regional Trends report.

Children and young people are the lead article in this year’s publication. There are also articles on women in business, statistical snapshots of the UK regions, and an in-depth profiling of selected English regions.

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Observatory issues invitation to tender to support integrated policy model

West Midlands Regional Observatory logoThe Observatory has released an Invitation to Tender (PDF, 320kb) today for provision of technical and analytical support for our Integrated Policy Model (IPM).

This is an exciting opportunity for external consultants to engage with the IPM, the first fully integrated spatial model developed to support regional, local and sub-regional organisations plan and monitor policies.

The IPM  is an interactive tool which allows policy makers and analysts to explore in detail the potential impacts of specific policy interventions. Before committing millions of pounds of investment, the potential impacts in different local areas can be simulated within the realistic regional environment of the model.

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