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Northern Powerhouse Summit: Influential Leaders Urge Government to Ignite Northern Growth and Unleash Untapped Potential

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Today, in Sheffield, an assembly of influential leaders, including Gillian Keegan, the Secretary of State for Education, Lord Jim O’Neill, and Lord David Blunkett, will be the highlight of this year’s Northern Powerhouse Education Employment and Skills Summit #NPEESS23, 29th June 2023. They will be taking centre stage to voice the urgent need for the Government to step up its efforts in the North of England.

Regions in the North face considerable socioeconomic disparities, marked by large areas mired in poverty, where the latent talents of individuals remain underutilised and opportunities are out of reach. To address this, a united front of Northern political and business leaders will put forth a robust call on the Government to breathe life into the North. Their plea is emphatic: it is high time the government deployed significant resources to cultivate the skills of the next generation and unlock the true potential of the North.

South Yorkshire’s Mayor, Oliver Coppard, expressed his commitment to the cause. He said: “Here in South Yorkshire, our objective goes beyond growing a larger economy; we’re striving for a better one. However, the vital piece of the puzzle lies in ensuring everyone has access to the education and skills they require to benefit from this new economy. The pillars of our mission are opportunity, growth and skills, as we seek to create a healthier, wealthier, and happier region. Hence, we are delighted to host this year’s NPEESS, giving us the chance to not only discuss the excellent work we’re doing here in South Yorkshire, but also to gain insight into the initiatives our partners and friends are undertaking across the North.”

Adding to this, Professor Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, said: “It is our privilege to host this impactful event, bringing together key politicians, policymakers, and influencers from across the North and beyond. As a vital institution, deeply woven into the fabric of this city and region, we consider our responsibility seriously. I eagerly anticipate engaging in conversations about how partners can collaborate to unlock unprecedented opportunities and drive economic growth in the North.”

The speaker line-up boasts of distinguished leaders including:

  • Rt Hon Gillian Keegan MP, Secretary of State for Education
  • Rt Hon Lord David Blunkett, Former Secretary of State for Education
  • Rt Hon Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester
  • Oliver Coppard, Mayor of South Yorkshire
  • Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire
  • Jamie Driscoll, Mayor of North of Tyne
  • Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary, NEU
  • Lord Jim O’Neill, Chair, Northern Powerhouse Partnership
  • Clive Betts MP, Chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee

The discussions and insights to be gleaned from this pivotal summit have the potential to shape the future trajectory of the North and act as a catalyst for positive change, initiating a much-needed paradigm shift in the investment in skills and talent development in the region.

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