Since 2015, an awful lot has been written about the need for a Northern Powerhouse: Demand for higher levels of investment, high-speed trains and increased devolution has been supported by data that shows the existing power of the north of England.

But why the focus on the North? Are Yorkshire businesses really embracing change?

Following the suspicion that new Prime Minister Theresa May could quietly abandon former chancellor George Osborne’s plans, she has publicly affirmed her commitment in an article in the Manchester Evening News. She explained that while the plans for devolution contain “huge, tangible changes”, she is determined to work with Northern leaders to “celebrate and further spur on the enormous contribution and potential” of cities above the North/South divide.

“I don’t want to see our country dependent on one city any more. I want to get all of our great cities firing on all cylinders to rebalance our economy,” she said.

The focus to increase investment and training in the North is long overdue and more than welcome, but let’s not forget there is already a huge amount to celebrate about the region. While there is no denying that Great Britain is currently a ‘one-city economy’, the Northern economy has long been a major player.

The North of England’s economy is worth £300 billion – that’s double Scotland’s. While much of the region has struggled to recover from the aftermath of the economic crash, there is much to celebrate too!

Big names in Yorkshire

Yorkshire – where 100% Effective is based – is home to some of the UK’s most well-known brands. Both Asda and Morrisons have their roots here, and both have their headquarters in Yorkshire, as does tea giant Betty’s and Taylors. The same is true for Persimmon PLC, SIG PLC and Mamas and Papas – and the list goes on!

more than one cityIndeed, according to the Yorkshire Post, there are over 2,840 medium sized firms in Yorkshire and the Humber, employing over a quarter of a million people and delivering a combined annual turnover of close to £52 billion. Further, there are an additional 250 firms that employ a combined 790,000 staff and have an annual turnover of more than £92 billion – and those figures don’t even include the small and micro firms that employ up to 50 people.

And many of those big names are just as progressive as their London-based counterparts – setting up the perfect foundations for a Northern Powerhouse. Many are investing in training that will help them to innovate and become more forward-looking, with strong focus on continuous improvement.

Indeed, many of our clients are based in Yorkshire and find that their location ‘up North’ has little bearing on their success – clients like Troy Foods and Cox Automotive UK, which have benefited from our Lean Six Sigma training and consultancy.

Going local for training

With that in mind, we’ve introduced a new venue for our classroom training. Our first Yorkshire-based Lean Six Sigma Green Belt training course will be held at The Catalyst at York Science Park between November 7th to 11th.

The introduction of Lean Six Sigma classroom training in Yorkshire to our training calendar was prompted by customer demand – we found more and more clients in Yorkshire and the surrounding area want training in business improvement and are no longer content to travel to London or Manchester to do so – and why should they have to?

invest in the northYork and Leeds have some of the best travel links in the country, allowing you to comfortably travel to Edinburgh or London in well under three hours, and Manchester in just one hour. The region is also seeing a boom in the digital economy, with many younger, digital-focused and forward thinking companies setting up in the region. Add to that Hull being named as City of Culture for 2017 and it’s not hard to see why there has been a rise in demand for Lean Six Sigma training in Yorkshire.

Investing in improvement

If businesses want to develop the skills and expertise of their workforce we can help, with Lean Six Sigma and Business Improvement training, but the LEP Skills Fund is also a valuable service. The LEP skills service supports small and medium-sized businesses with support and funding for training if they’re based in Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield or York.

Lean Six Sigma training can help businesses to increase profitability and productivity, by increasing efficiency and eliminating wasteful practices. The strategic approach ensures that the change is implemented by the very people who will benefit from it, and staff are empowered to keep innovating and improving.

The LEP Skills Service offers grants of up to 50% of the cost of training for eligible businesses, and can provide up to £50,000 in funding per business, and 100% Effective is a registered training provider with the service.

So, with some of the UK’s best and biggest companies, a focus on improvement and innovation and funding to help businesses grow – is it really grim up North?

If you’d like to attend our new York-based Lean Six Sigma Green Belt training course, click the button below to get in touch.

Lean Six Sigma