A report carried out by Centre for Cities has found that small to medium-sized businesses that specialise in the creative, professional and digital roles (also known as the ‘new work’) are the ones that are leading the productivity, and the high job growth in all UK cities. Think-tank’s Small Business Outlook 2015 report has found the top ten cities where these sectors are progressively growing. The list includes; the non-stop capital London, Cambridge, Oxford and Reading.
The report has also shown that the ‘new work’ SMEs are developing at a faster rate than the small businesses around the UK in the traditional job roles such as manufacturing and construction. The percentage for construction SMEs has fallen by 8 per cent and for manufacturers the employment rate has decreased by per cent.
The ‘new work’ businesses provide a massive benefit to cities as they provide an impact by increasing the demands and jobs available around each city. And it’s not just the ‘new job’ sector that is contributing, professions in the retail and leisure sectors are also providing new jobs and opportunities for the cities, typically in the South-East.
Although the ‘new work’ SME’s are providing opportunities they are not stretched around the UK evenly and this is causing economic disputes between different cities. In Burnley and Doncaster only one in five SMEs fall into the ‘new work’ sector. However, Burnley is one of the ten bottom cities in the UK that has a low job growth and only just an average wage and Doncaster is one of the ten least productive cities in the UK.
Chief executive of Centre for Cities, Alexandra Jones comments, “In recent decade, small innovative firms, taking advantage of technological advances, have started to play an increasingly important role in driving jobs growth, wages and productivity in UK cities.” Jones wants the government to prioritise helping the firms that need it the most first so they can grow further.
She continues, “The government needs to give cities greater control over skills, infrastructure and spending, to help them become more responsive to the needs of local businesses,
“The government’s plan to let local government keep business rates is a welcome step towards giving cities more of the tools and flexibility they need to support local businesses. Local leaders should use these powers to create a better environment for innovative firms to thrive in, especially in places which have seen slow growth.”
The Chief also thinks that improving the digital infrastructure will beat the gap in skills and in the workforce. It should also help with international trades for local businesses.
Philip Brennan, Head of Businesscomparison.com has said, “Personally I agree with Alexandra, before we expand on the booming cities, we should concentrate on places like Burnley where job sectors in general are not growing. As a whole economy it is important to have businesses all around the UK specialising in creative, professional and digital roles, in fact there is a worry that a digital shortage is holding businesses back.”