Productivity & Skills Commission

This commission is looking to understand the true extent of the productivity challenge in the region.



The Productivity & Skills Commission was set the task of understanding the true extent of the productivity challenge in the West Midlands, identifying the component causes and making recommendations to address the issues identified.

These can be found in the commission’s full report.



The Commission has strategically targeted areas where there is potential to boost productivity and re-ignite under-performing industry, helping to reduce unemployment and underemployment and ultimately tackle a widening skills gap.

The result will be a more prosperous, inclusive and thriving economy that works to meet the needs of the people of the West Midlands.



Dr Andy Palmer CMG

Dr Andy Palmer CMG

Dr Andy Palmer CMG is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Aston Martin.

Born in June 1963 in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, Palmer started his professional career in 1979 aged 16, as an apprentice at Automotive Products Limited (UK). After six years with Austin Rover, he joined Nissan where he held the post of Chief Planning Officer at Nissan Motor Co and was a member of the Nissan Executive Committee. He held a number of senior positions with the Japanese car manufacturer firm over the course of a 23-year career. He joined Aston Martin on October 1 2014.

Palmer is a chartered engineer, chartered manager and businessman with 38 years of automotive industry experience. He is an indentured apprentice and graduated from Warwick University with a Master’s Degree (MSc) in Product Engineering in 1990, and acquired a Doctorate (PhD) in Management from Cranfield University in 2004. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. In 2010, Coventry University awarded Palmer an Honorary Doctorate of Technology and in 2014 he was appointed Professor, advising the university in the automotive field. Palmer is also an Industrial Professor at Warwick University (2015), a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute CCMI (2015) and the first winner of the Cranfield University “The Distinguished Manufacturing Alumnus/a of the Year Award” (2016)

Palmer has been selected as one of the 37 ambassadors for the GREAT Britain campaign appointed by 10 Downing Street (2016). His career is also a case study for the Governments Apprenticeship Delivery Board (ADB), show casing career progression from an apprenticeship (2016).

In the 2014 New Year’s Honours list Palmer was named a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in recognition of services to the British automotive industry.

Palmer is married and has four children and in his spare time loves to race Aston Martins, and drive / ride his classic 1980 Vantage V8 or BMW K1600 motorbike.

Cllr George Duggins

Cllr George Duggins

Leader of Coventry City Council and Productivity and Skills Portfolio Holder at West Midlands Combined Authority.

Professor Nigel Driffield

Marion Plant OBE

Andrew Cleaves

Jo Lopes

Mike Reade

Sarah Windrum

Tony Davis

Ian Barnes

David Danger

Tom Westley

Jackie Dunne

Nick Page

Professor Anne Green

Professor Mark Hart

Professor Stephen Roper

Professor Jun Du

Ben Dixon

Kim Rowlands

Clair Mowbray

Angela Joyce

Kirston Nelson

Anne O’Sullivan

Sarah Middleton

Delma Dwight

Katie Trout

Paul Edwards

Paula Deas