I            Introduction

This publication represents the amalgamation of two separate regional publications:  The Regional Competitiveness Indicators and the Regional Development Agency (RDA) �State of the Region� Core Indicators. 

At the same time as combining the Regional Competitiveness Indicators and the �State of the Region� Core Indicators we have introduced a number of revisions and changes.

Consultants� (SQW Ltd and Oxford Economic Forecasting) recommendations for RDA Evaluation and Performance Monitoring Frameworks were that 11 indicators should be core for RDAs.  Those now incorporated in the combined indicator set (with their table numbers) are:

Gross Value Added (on a workplace basis) per head of population 1(a)ii
Manufacturing GVA per head  2(a)
Business formations per 10,000 adults     12(b)i[1]
Unemployment rate (ILO definition)   7
% of adults with NVQ level 4 skills/equivalent  9(c)[2]
% of adults with no qualifications  9(d)[3]
% of residents within families dependent on Income Support benefits  11
Road congestion  14(c)[4]
Stock of derelict land   16

Recommended for inclusion but not incorporated in this set are:

Waste � volume of non-recycled waste
Wildlife � population of birds

For both these indicators the available information is included in the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) publication Regional Quality of Life Counts at http://www.sustainable-development.gov.uk/indicators/regional/

Statistics which previously appeared in the State of the Region Core Indicators, but which will not now appear in the combined set (either because they were not recommended by SQW for inclusion, or were not already part of the Regional Competitiveness Indicators) are:

Proportion of the population with above average living conditions
Percentage of dwellings built on previously developed land
Percentage of Employers with Current Hard to Fill Vacancies
Percentage of Employees undertaking work-related training in the last 13 weeks
Percentage of Medium/Large Organisations recognised as Investors in People (see below)

[1] Statistic presented is per 10,000 population.
Statistic presented is proportion of economically active adults (18-59/64 qualified to NVQ level 4).
Statistic presented is proportion of economically active adults with no qualifications.
Statistic presented is average daily vehicle flows.

Following a consultation exercise carried out during winter 2001/2002 we have introduced a number of small changes to the Regional Competitiveness Indicators themselves.  The most significant change is dropping figures for Investors in People (IIP), which were reported to be among those least used.  Statistics on regional recognitions for IIP can be found at http://www.iipuk.co.uk/IIP/Internet/ResearchandDevelopment/StatisticsontheStandard

The Regional Competitiveness Indicators have always been associated with the DTI�s Business Competitiveness Indicators, available via the DTI�s regional statistics website.  Up until now these have formed a subset of the Regional Competitiveness Indicators, giving statistics at sub-regional level, down to Learning and Skills Council Areas, NUTS3, or Local Authority/Unitary Authority level, depending on the availability of data.  The State of the Region Core Indicators, too, have always been available to sub-regional level where suitable data exists.  The Business Competitiveness Indicators will continue to provide data to sub-regional levels.

A copy of the report on the consultation on the Regional Competitiveness Indicators is available from Philip White, at the address given on the first page of this report.  Further comments on the content and layout of the Regional Competitiveness Indicators are welcome and should similarly be sent to Philip.

II         Aims

The aim of the Regional Competitiveness Indicators was to present statistical information that illustrated the factors that contributed to regional competitiveness.  They were not intended to measure the performance of the Government Offices or the devolved administrations, but were designed to assist those responsible for developing regional economic strategies.  The �State of the Region� Core Indicators (as developed by SQW) were originally designed to measure progress towards sustainable economic development, skills and social regeneration and to provide monitoring and evaluation guidance for the RDAs. 

There are 16 indicators in this publication.  They are intended to give a balanced picture of all the statistical information relevant to regional competitiveness and the state of the regions.

The DTI also publishes UK Competitiveness Indicators (see http://www.dti.gov.uk/opportunityforall/indicators2/index.htm), which present a set of indicators designed to measure the UK�s progress in the knowledge driven economy. 

III            General Comments

Where data are available on a consistent basis they are presented for Government Office Regions and for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  For ease of expression, the term �region� is sometimes used in the text to refer both to Government Office Regions and to the devolved administrations.

Each of the indicators is described in turn, including explanations as to how it is compiled and what it measures.  The tables relating to each indicator can be found at the back of the publication. Technical and methodological issues associated with the indicators are described in the Definitions section.

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