Rebalancing Act

I had dinner last night at The Hilton Hotel – cooked rather well by students from NCN. Amongst those on the table were Councillor Nick McDonald from Nottingham City Council and Graham Allen MP for Nottingham North.


The topic of conversation was the imbalance in Nottingham between the (relative) well-off South and the poor North. This may be too simplistic a headline – but the geography tells different stories.

Graham’s constituency is seemingly in the lowest 10 in the UK – in terms of teenage pregnancy, unemployment and social deprivation. Some of the constituents are third generation “out of work”.

It is easy to forget that across a large City like Nottingham that there is a wide variance in fortunes. We do tend to forget this when we see the good things (many of which I have blogged about here). There are some areas of desperation.

Graham and Nick are championing how we rebalance the local economy. It is no easy task – the loss of some of the major manufacturing and employers (coal, Raleigh, Imperial Tobacco and others) is still being felt 30 years after some of these changes occurred.

I am not sure that we have easy answers. It is going to take a long time – but ‘education’ was clearly one area where we all felt some change could be made. Getting kids to school and then to College is part of that process. But is also important that we train kids with skills they can use. We need to stop teaching them all ‘Geography’! (Sorry Geography teachers everywhere – you know I don’t mean that literally!). They need Maths and English. And life-skills.

I was blind to the suggestion that some of this generation of kids in some of these communities are not even contemplating ‘work’. That we have to fix.

2 comments on “Rebalancing Act

  1. Doesn’t matter what you teach kids if there are no jobs. An ex-teacher myself I think today’s young generation have been short-changed and deceived by politicians of all three main parties. Encouraging young people to bust a gut to get to uni ( and get saddled with 25-30k debt ) then fail to provide employment opportunities is beyond bonkers. Then make it worse by having an open border so anyone can come here and compete for the few jobs that are available. This young generation won’t forget and won’t forgive. Politicians are the only ones who can change things. What jobs have they created in Nottingham?

    • This a vicious circle though? We have to have a level of education as when there are jobs those with some basic Maths and English will be way ahead of those without? I suspect that the University route is being moderated by the fees – I agree that the level of debt is worrying. In fairness to the City a number of jobs have been created via apprenticeships and my firm are about to take on an intern. Its slow progress. We did discuss social enterprise for some of the estates to get people working and having some self-respect… Not perfect but better than nothing?


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