Centre for Progressive Policy

Making inclusive growth a reality

We work with local, national and international partners to build a fairer society in which everyone can contribute to and benefit from economic growthAs inequality worsens and the capacity of communities around the world

Building global Britain

If 2020 wasn’t enough, here comes 2021: with the ongoing burden of the pandemic further complicated by Brexit agreements. In the week that CPP launches new analysis on the productivity potential of places across the UK, this event explores the role of London and the regions in making Britain fit for Brexit.This past year has placed our cities and regions under enormous pressure as central and local leaders sought to manage the fallout from the pandemic. In 2021 the UK's places will continue to be shaped by the ongoing impact of Covid-19 as well as by the future trade relationships with our European neighbours and the rest of the world.With the risk of unemployment in the country coming close to the 1980s levels after furlough ends and threatening to derail the government’s levelling up project, the pressure on cities and regions as engines of our economy is higher than ever before if they are to ‘build back better’ in a globalised world. With London potentially at risk of 'levelling down' due to its labour market being hit hardest the capital is also at a crucial crossroads.We will be looking at what this new conjuncture means for global Britain and its place in a post-Brexit and post-pandemic world. Key questions include:What impact will Brexit have on the UK’s levelling up agenda? What is London’s new role in relation to the rest of the UK and as a major player in the global economy? What is the role of the regions and how can they best be empowered to boost Britain’s global agenda?PanellistsStefanie Bolzen, UK and Ireland Correspondent, Die WeltRichard Brown, Deputy Director, Centre for LondonBen Franklin, Head of Research, Centre for Progressive PolicyProfessor Richard Jones, Chair in Materials Physics and Innovation Policy & Associate Vice-President for Innovation and Regional Economic Development at University of ManchesterChairLinda Yueh, Fellow in Economics at Oxford University and Adjunct Professor of Economics, London Business School.

The role of education in levelling up the North

As the rate of unemployment starts to rise and more redundancies are expected into the first half of 2021, the question of how we reskill and upskill young people and older adults in the workforce has come to the fore. The pandemic has also raised big questions about the value we place on keyworkers and what we define as essential work in a predominately knowledge-driven economy. The current Further Education system must now be geared up for this challenge, made more agile and responsive than ever if it is to meet the needs of new and evolving sectors as they thrive – or fade – in the wake of Covid-19.Long before the virus struck the adult education and training system was struggling to meet local and national demand for skills. In Higher Education, questions were also mounting as to whether students were getting value for money – both in terms of learning and employment opportunities. But Covid has exacerbated inequalities. The Education Endowment Trust warned in July that the progress made in narrowing the education attainment gap between rich and poor over the last decadewas wiped out in just a few months of the first lockdown. The challenge of levelling up has got a whole lot harder; the case for inclusive growth all more imperative.Some key questions will include: What is the role of education when it comes to levelling up in the North of England? What national, regional and local government policy levers are available? Are new accountability and funding mechanisms needed to drive change? What role will the skills system play in driving the green economy and a renewal of advanced manufacturing?PanellistsCharlotte Alldritt, Director, Centre for Progressive Policy (Chair)Zoë Billingham, Head of Policy and Engagement, Centre for Progressive PolicyAndy Burnham, Mayor of Greater ManchesterDavid Goodhart, Head of Demography, Immigration & Integration, Policy ExchangeThe Rt Hon. Lord David Willetts, President of the Advisory Council and Intergenerational Centre, Resolution Foundation

In conversation with Lord Heseltine

Lord Heseltine has devoted much of his long and illustrious career to the question of regeneration and regional growth. A Member of Parliament for 35 years, former Cabinet Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, he is arguably the grandfather of ‘levelling up’ – famously devising 30 ideas for Liverpool’s regeneration after the 1981 Toxteth riots. In 2015 he became an adviser to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, chaired the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission, co-chaired the Estate Regeneration Advisory Panel, made key recommendations for developing the Tees Valley area and co-commissioned The National Infrastructure Commission. After leaving government in 2017, he published his own version of what the Industrial Strategy should be and has most recently written about English devolution. This special in-conversation between CPP and Lord Heseltine came ahead of May’s local, mayoral and Scottish Parliament elections, as questions – and tensions – rise as to the future of devolution in England and the future of the Union.Key questions will include: what has coronavirus shown us about the power of local and regional leaders in shaping and delivering government policy? How might we envision the next stage for devolution in England and the wider UK if we are to drive inclusive growth and economic recovery? What is the role of the regions and how can systems of Mayoral accountability best reflect this? How should the government best invest in communities to address inequality and shared prosperity across the UK? What should the government do to support business and industry and incentivise investment, especially in so called ‘left behind’ places?The event was chaired by Charlotte Alldritt, Director, Centre for Progressive Policy.