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  • Writer's pictureAadya Bahl

LSIP and Productivity - Matching findings and exploring differences

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

By Aadya Bahl - Research Intern at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce


The Local Skills Improvement Plans have provided invaluable insights into Greater Manchester's economy from a skills perspective. These insights not only shape training needs and policies but also offer key details that tie into the productivity analysis. One focal point of this productivity analysis was to investigate the presence of a job polarisation effect within the region's economy.


Job polarisation refers to the phenomenon where certain job types experience growth while others decline, leading to a shift in the employment landscape. To assess this, our analysis examined the overall change in employment across occupations by sector between 2015 and 2021. The aim was to determine whether Greater Manchester's economy displayed evidence of job polarisation.


The findings revealed that there was weak evidence of job polarisation within the Greater Manchester economy. The literature suggested that the demand for non-routine jobs, including roles that involve problem-solving and creative activities, such as professional, managerial, technical, and creative occupations, will increase due to the polarisation. This includes non-routine manual roles that also require interpersonal and environmental adaptability, such as food preparation and service, home health aides, and ground cleaning and maintenance.


Overall, our analysis shows that elementary occupations saw a growth in some sectors, while sales and customer service, and process, plant and machine operative roles witnessed a decline in some sectors. A noteworthy finding was that administrative and clerical work did not uniformly decline across all sectors, which contradicts past empirical work. While it did decline in sectors like Distribution and Hospitality, Transportation and Communication, and Construction, it rose for sectors like Manufacturing. Interestingly, this rise in administrative and clerical work in Manufacturing was accompanied by a 22% fall in operative roles, highlighting the complex interplay between occupation types in specific industries.


Interviews with employers conducted as part of the research for the LSIP show how growing automation is impacting the Manufacturing industry. This employer suggested that advanced manufacturing now required people with the following skills:

We're now looking at programmers; people who can programme robotic machines and have the understanding of how to do that.”


This shows how the job roles are evolving within the Manufacturing sector and adopting higher skills to match the automation.


The LSIP results show a high level of demand for professional occupations, especially managerial roles with an interviewee from the digital sector reporting that they do not face difficulties recruiting at the junior levels but struggle a lot while recruiting for senior roles:


“The biggest problems are at a much more senior level…we don’t tend to struggle at the junior level anymore – it’s more that middle to senior management level, those people with the years of experience.”


Sectors like Healthcare and Hospitality also need individuals to match the demand for occupations such as Cleaning Operatives, Administrators and Managers.


The insights gained from this productivity analysis, coupled with the skills perspective provided by the Local Skills Improvement Plans, further strengthen our hypothesis regarding job polarisation in Greater Manchester. Together, they lay the foundation for evidence-based decision-making, allowing Greater Manchester to ensure that its workforce remains adaptable and resilient.


Aadya recently took part in a podcast to discuss productivity and the LSIP, alongside the Chamber's Deputy Director of Research, Subrah Krishnan-Harihara. Click here to listen to the podcast.

To find out more about our research conducted as part of the Local Skills Improvement Plan for Greater Manchester, contact our team via gmlsip@gmchamber.co.uk.


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