//How do we make inclusive growth real?

Published 29th September 2017 at 8:26am

“Inclusive growth is more than just a buzz word – it should be a yardstick.”

A packed Firth Hall at the University of Sheffield listened intently as economics guru and international journalist Stephanie Flanders discussed ways to achieve inclusive growth, a central theme in the new, draft Sheffield City Region (SCR) Inclusive Industrial Strategy.

In 2016 Stephanie chaired the RSA Inclusive Growth Commission, set up to identify practical ways to make inclusive growth a reality.

Its first hearing was in Sheffield, at the Cathedral, and among those speaking was Dr Dave Smith, the SCR Managing Director.

The Commission launched its final report in March this year, and called on all leaders – in business, society, public service and government – to make inclusive growth the working definition of economic success. (https://www.thersa.org/globalassets/pdfs/reports/rsa_inclusive-growth-commission-final-report-march-2017.pdf).

The report offers outline a practical roadmap for a more inclusive economy, where everyone can benefit from greater prosperity. In response the SCR is making inclusive growth keystone to its new draft strategy.

It will set out an ambitious vision for economic growth across the region to ensure that people from all communities benefit.

The draft will go out to consultation and engagement with a range of stakeholders for their views on the way forward, and will then be considered by the Local Enterprise Partnership.

In summary, Stephanie said the Commission’s answers were to:

  • Bring economic and social policy together. We have to invest in social policy as part of and at the same time as economic policy. They are interdependent. A strong economy is built on a strong society
  • Both central and local government need to be take a more place-based approach and think about how policy plays out at a local level in communities
  • Use better measurement to capture the experience of everyday people

She added that more money is needed to achieve much of this.

To contribute to our thinking about how to support inclusive growth in the Sheffield City Region please contact Luke Owen, senior economic policy officer, by email at luke.owen@sheffieldcityregion.org.uk.