Economic inclusion means opportunities for everyone

We want to ensure that Yorkshire & Humber is a great place to live, work and do business. Therefore, we need to help everyone in the region to realise their potential—benefiting them personally, as well as their communities and the economy as a whole.

This page tells you about our Economic Inclusion policy. To find out about the support we deliver in this area, please refer to our pages on providing access to jobs and raising skills.

What’s economic inclusion all about?

It means opportunities for everyone—where everyone is included in contributing to, and benefiting from, economic prosperity. It also means not excluding people based on their level of prosperity, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, or anything else.

The cost of economic exclusion

The economic exclusion of our deprived communities represents not only a loss of potential talent but also a very real financial cost. In turn, that financial cost spirals back into economic exclusion, with undesirable consequences for society and the economy:

  • Supporting 150,000 to 200,000 people out of work could cost the region’s economy £1.6bn a year
  • Economically excluded people commit more crime. The costs for reporting and offender management services, including police, prisons probation and the court systems, are £760m a year in Yorkshire & Humber (not counting lost earnings or unpaid tax and NI)
  • Families which are economically excluded are more likely to break down, leading to further dependence on benefits, and young people are more likely to become looked-after (at a significant cost to the state)
  • Economic exclusion is linked with lower levels of health, which increases the burden on the state. In turn, people in poor health are less likely to be able to work, or to contribute to society in other ways
  • Economically excluded people are more likely to develop dependencies (again impacting on health) and may revert to crime
  • Economically excluded people may disengage from the education system—reducing their children’s life chances and their ability to contribute to the economy in later life.

What are the challenges?

  • We need to continue to tackle the common phenomenon of a ‘two-speed economy’. Affluent areas with full employment still sit side-by-side with areas which are run-down, and which face challenges like poor housing and health, low skills, crime, unattractive or broken environments, low aspirations, and reliance on public-sector spending
  • More and more people are on long-term benefits—even though regional unemployment is under 3% and rates of economic inactivity are rising
  • There are fewer businesses and lower levels of private-sector investment in communities with high levels of deprivation. (In these circumstances, the development of community enterprise and social enterprise have helped to kick-start local employment and business opportunities)
  • We must continue to promote diversity, especially in light of continued demographic change.

Who are we working with?

It is has been the responsibility of the Department for Work and Pensions DWP and Job Centre Plus to link people to employment, with a role for the Learning and Skills Council LSC. However, there remains significant market failure on employment.  Therefore, Yorkshire Forward is looking at the adoption of broader, more intensive responses to complement the work of other agencies. We can't achieve the change alone, but we can bridge the gap. We can provide the interface between businesses and supply-side support agencies.

We work with large employers, bringing together local authorities, city regions, sub-regions, the third sector and, where appropriate, regional partners. Investments are either directly commissioned by us, or go through a lead local authority.  

We are aligning our investments in the most deprived areas through close links to ERDF, the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative, the Neighbourhood Renewal/Working Neighbourhood fund, and our renaissance and enterprise.

Where are we focusing our attention?

Our focus will be on areas where there are the highest levels of deprivation. Our areas of greatest deprivation are concentrated in the urban areas—those with the highest levels of economic inactivity matched with low income levels. These equate to local ward and ‘super-output’ areas in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield, Hull, Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Kirklees, Calderdale, North-East Lincolnshire, Scarborough and Goole.

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