National Productivity Week: Re-imagining productivity

As part of National Productivity Week this event will bring together business, academia and policy makers to explore the importance of productivity in a wider sense than is usually the case. In particular we consider productivity from the perspective of what this means for the individual in addition to what it means for large firms or policy makers.

One of our aims in particular is to explore to concept of "low productivity" more carefully, and distinguish between a perceived lack of efficiency, and low levels of remuneration. This is particularly important for the midlands, when one considers how earnings vary greatly over relatively small distances, suggesting market failures or barriers that prevent people from accessing better jobs.

We seek therefore to explore this from a number of perspectives:

  • What productivity means for the self employed, who by definition work several hours for each one they are paid, bidding for jobs, preparing for jobs etc.
  • How "low productivity activities" underpin other "high productivity ones". For example SMEs operating in lower tiers of supply chains may not be "low productivity" but "low margin"