City needs to cater for more than just high earn­ers in oil and gas

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - BUSINESS -

Sir Howard said Aberdeen needed to be “con­stantly rein­vent­ing” eco­nomic change in or­der to pre­pare for the next decade.

He said main ar­eas to fo­cus on were mak­ing sure the city caters for more than just high earn­ers in oil and gas, and try­ing to assess what it would take to en­sure young peo­ple choose to stay rather than look else­where for op­por­tu­ni­ties.

He added: “You need to ask your­selves, what do we want it to look like in 10 years’ time? Not what does that mean in the con­text of just phys­i­cal de­vel­op­ment, but what does that mean for the de­mo­graphic pro­file of the peo­ple who live here and the pop­u­la­tion?

“How can we help them take more re­spon­si­bly for their own life choices and how can we help them? What is the na­ture of the pub­lic sec­tor ser­vice of­fer which has to change to drive those out­comes? What do we mean by a more pro­duc­tive labour mar­ket serv­ing Aberdeen?

“It’s not just how do you keep hold of those high­value jobs which cur­rently char­ac­terise the econ­omy – it’s how do you en­sure a lot of peo­ple who are not rep­re­sented in that labour mar­ket are catered for?

“How do you cater for a lot of young peo­ple who cur­rently feel they have to look out­side Aberdeen for their jobs?

“All of this will de­ter­mine how pro­duc tive the Aberdeen econ­omy will be in the next 10 years and they’re all big, big ques­tions which all cities have to tackle. I just think some of the prob­lems here are more acute.”

He said there was also a greater need to cater for younger and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

More pro­fes­sion­als in cities like Manch­ester and Lon­don are turn­ing to co­l­iv­ing as they don’t want to be weighed down by a mort­gage, he said, adding: “We have to look at ways for young peo­ple to have the abil­ity to live ei­ther at the edge or within the city cen­tre, and what would that mean in terms of new forms of liv­ing?”

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