Rod Sellers OBE, president of ICAEW Manchester, said, "The UK's chronic productivity problems are well-known, and are felt particularly keenly in the regions. One of the keys to addressing this will be improved skills and – more pertinently – equipping our people with the right skills for the opportunities that exist within our city-region.
"Real improvements have been seen since the adult education budget was brought under increased local control, and today's announcement marks the next step toward creating a truly integrated technical education and work system which funds and delivers the skills that employers, and employees, need in the places where they need them."
Today's Budget document confirmed that most funding for the delivery of adult skills training would be devolved to mayors under "trailblazer" deeper devolution deals which have now been agreed, subject to ratification. In Greater Manchester the funding for this, and other devolved matters, will in future form part of a single multi-year settlement to be announced at the next Spending Review.
This settlement will also include funding for integrated ticketing across Greater Manchester’s public transport network – a long-held ambition of Greater Manchester Combined Authority. Mr Sellers said, "Public transport is a key element of the economic development jigsaw, so today's announcement that rail, buses and trams will be integrated across Greater Manchester is welcome.
"However, although integration is welcome, to really transform Greater Manchester’s economy our transport networks also require proper investment after decades of being the poor cousin compared to London and the South East. The services linking Greater Manchester to its neighbouring cities have reached crisis point in recent months and we need solutions that deliver reliable rail services now, not years down the line."
Notes to editors
ICAEW Manchester represents more than 6,000 Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) members in the Greater Manchester area. It is one of the five founding district societies of the ICAEW and traces its history back more than 150 years.
Members of ICAEW Manchester work in accountancy practice, industry, business, charities and the public sector. Nationally the ICAEW has more than 186,000 members and, as an improvement regulator, supervises and monitors more than 12,000 firms.
For further information contact:
Rod Sellers OBE, President, ICAEW Manchester
Stuart Anderson, Director, Alpha Public Relations
0161 791 0811