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State of the Region 2020 Full Report

Executive Summary - SWOT

Pre-Covid-19 Strengths

  • Young and diverse population
  • Business, Professional, Financial and Services sector and resilience
  • Private sector R&D and Innovation assets
  • Largest University sector outside London 
  • Strong construction sector and portfolio of capital investment opportunities
  • Employment growth
  • Wage growth
  • Increase in high skills
  • Apprenticeship starts
  • Reducing number of young people not in education and training
  • Improving school attainment
  • Increasing numbers of active businesses
  • Increasing number of affordable homes
  • Business R&D investment
  • Strong levels of exporting and largest trade surplus
  • International Airport and close to a global city

Pre-Covid-19 weaknesses

  • High unemployment and youth unemployment
  • Unhealthy communities
  • Low/poor jobs growth
  • Survival rates of businesses
  • Significantly deprived areas and inequalities
  • Low usage of renewable energy
  • Numbers of residents with low qualifications
  • Higher unemployment

Threats created by Covid-19

  • Economic crash, social distancing and drop in consumer demand
  • Large scale unemployment 
  • Long term scarring effects on young people 
  • Apprenticeship availability
  • Trade and export drop and uncertainty
  • Negative impacts on international travel, education and tourism
  • Business investment and cash flow disrupted
  • R&D and innovation investment curtailed
  • Digital skills and infrastructure inequalities
  • Reduced take up and usage of public transport
  • A changing world which values technology, personalised interactions, flexibility which we may not be ready for
  • Large employer asset companies are starting to declare redundancies
  • Uncertainty over transition period and new trade and position

Opportunities post Covid-19

  • Sector mix ready for recovery and pick up
  • Strong healthcare and life sciences sector
  • Build on successful past growth in construction and business and professional services
  • Building on community spirit and growing community infrastructure
  • Adoption of technology and new business models
  • Growth in clean green mobility
  • Investing in strong local infrastructure which has responded well in the crisis
  • Greater investment in young people 
  • Enhanced emphasis on lifelong learning, and adaptive flexible workforces