The UK Powerhouse study is produced with the Centre for Economics and Business Research. It provides an estimate of GVA growth and job creation within 45 of the UK’s largest cities 12 months ahead of the Government’s official figures.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the report reveals that the Milton Keynes economy grew by 2.6% in the year to the end of Q2 2017 on the back of its booming technology sector and its track record for encouraging start-ups.
The city also tops the league table for job creation after employment levels grew by 1.4% over the last 12 months.
Highlighting the growing and vital role technology plays in the wider UK economy, the report finds that in fast-growing Milton Keynes, technology-related GVA increased by 24% between 2012 and 2015.
It is further predicted that the UK-wide number of jobs in the technology sector will increase by 24% in next ten years. However, the report raises concerns that the true potential might not be realised.
To ensure all cities benefit from the available opportunities in the tech sector, the report makes a number of recommendations. These include:
- Tackling the shortage of highly skilled employees by encouraging more women to enter the industry;
- Investing and opening more ‘code academies’ to increase the number of people with the necessary skills in programming languages;
- Establishing a plan that allows the existing data flows between the UK and the rest of Europe to continue before the UK officially leaves the EU;
- Expanding the Start Up Loans scheme for new business ideas by providing financing deals which offer higher amounts on lower interest rates;
- Changing the current UK entrepreneur tax relief scheme as it encourages small firms to sell out early and inhibits the number of businesses reaching unicorn size;