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Manchester to host UK Productivity Institute

A new institute in Manchester has been received £32 million from government to boost ground-breaking research on how to solve the UK’s ongoing ‘productivity puzzle’.

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The state-of-the-art Productivity Institute, based at the University of Manchester, will be supported by government and industry to identify barriers to increasing productivity across the UK.

From September, over 40 researchers from leading UK institutions will work directly with policy makers and businesses through the Institute to examine what has been dubbed the UK’s ‘productivity puzzle’.

Productivity in the UK (usually measured by output per worker) is lower than it was at the onset of the financial crisis in 2008 even though the economy has grown year-on-year up until the COVID-19 crisis. Productivity levels are also much lower than global competitors such as Germany, the US and Japan.

Solving the productivity challenge takes in a number of different issues. Traditionally, failing to adopt modern technologies and efficient processes is seen as a key cause, but low productivity is also linked to outdated management practices, poor workforce engagement, lack of workplace diversity and a failure to measure performance.

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As part of its remit, the Productivity Institute will create eight ‘Regional Productivity Forums’ around the country to identify specific regional issues.

Professor Bart van Ark, Chair in Productivity Studies at the University of Manchester’s Alliance Manchester Business School, will lead the Institute’s work. He explained:

“For many years the UK has grappled with how to create better jobs and boost productivity, thereby increasing people’s prosperity around the country. The COVID-19 recession makes it time for a fresh look at these challenges.

“If we are to reboot the economy, we need jobs that create high value, use economic and natural resources efficiently, and drive sustained growth through technological change and innovation. Productive jobs will pay more and improve people’s well-being.”

Our specialist Manufacturing Advisors can work with you to develop a personalised productivity strategy and access grant funding.

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