Agenda item

The Future of Work in Southampton - Introduction, background and context

Report of the Service Director, Legal and Governance requesting that the Panel consider the comments made by the Leader and invited guests and use the information provided as evidence in the review.


The Panel considered the report of the Service Director, Legal and Governance requesting that the Panel consider the comments made by the Leader and invited guests and use the information provided as evidence in the review.


Councillor Hammond (leader of the Council) and Andrew Carter (Chief Executive – Centre for Cities) were in attendance and, with the consent of the Chair, addressed the meeting.


The Leader welcomed the inquiry and broadly set out how the Council’s current position it was noted that:

·  according to a recent research by CBRE Southampton had placed within the top 5 super clusters of Tech Cities;

·  the development of technology in the work place would drastically alter the range of jobs within the job market;

·  the City Council was already taking steps to raise awareness of future opportunities by hosting a special events such as the “Get-Inspired event” at the Guildhall in November and that the Council was actively encouraging start up businesses to remain and grow in Southampton, by investing the Council’s resources into a co-working space for creative, digital and knowledge based businesses; and

·  there was a need to look and challenge existing thinking around education and learning in order to compete globally and to ‘future proof’ the City’s lifelong learning needs.


Andrew Carter delivered a presentation that introduced the findings from the Cities Outlook 2018 report that provides an in depth analysis on the future of work and raised the following points:


·  that skill levels are one of the most important factors in determining economic outcomes for both individuals and for productivity and are fundamental to people’s ability to adapt to the changing world of work. Noting that those cities with highly skilled and qualified employees would be able to respond more effectively to the opportunities for economic growth and take advantage of the potential prosperity that a technological revolution would bring;

·  that supporting the growth in high skilled private sector occupations will require a greater emphasis on analytical and interpersonal skills in the future workforce of a city;

·  that early year’s education and extra curriculum activity were emphasised as being be very important tools to enhance the development of the necessary skill set;

·  that the introduction of new technology produced a rapidly changing work environment that showed that it was increasingly important requirement for people to continue to develop, learn and re-train throughout their working life is increasingly important. 

·  that In work training has declined across the UK by an average of 15% between 2004 and 2017.  It was explained that in Southampton there had been a 12% reduction.  It was noted that Bristol was a notable exception where there had been a 20% increase.

·  that there were other factors that act as drivers that would impact on the ability of a city to see growth in new areas such as the cultural offering, attractiveness of the city centre and the ability of employers to access the appropriate skills in the workforce to contribute to the economic success of an area; 

·  that cities need to take advantage of any particular regional advantage it has but should not become too reliant on a particular sector or else risk becoming potentially side-lined; and

·  that having economic development and skills together in the same division at the City Council gave Southampton an advantage when it came to the development of a strategy that would support the City adapt to a changing world.


RESOLVED that the presentations by the Leader and Andrew Carter be noted and used as evidence for the inquiry.

Supporting documents: