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Equity and Inclusion Scheme 2022-24

Summary of key Trends/Issues

  • The region has seen significant population growth over the past decade, and it is projected that recent trends will continue.

  • Births in the West Midlands Metropolitan area have been increasing at a higher rate than the national average with implications for employment and housing (housing demand will continue to increase).

  • As people continue to live longer there will also be an increase in the percentage of people over the age of 65 and people with disabilities with potential implications for a number of areas, such as transport and health and social services.

  • The working age population will make up a smaller percentage of the population.

  • The growing population will likely become increasingly diverse.

  • Social inequity remains an issue with increased levels of multiple deprivation, high unemployment levels and low levels of qualifications.

  • Segregation between different cultural groups is also continuing with distinct concentrations of Minority Ethnic communities within the area.

  • There is an increase in jobs requiring qualifications within the West Midlands but residents lack the necessary skills and qualifications to gain employment within these areas.

  • In the West Midlands, transport poverty is widely dispersed across the region but is more concentrated in urban peripheral areas. Difficulty accessing transport has a confounding effect on access to job opportunities and education.

  • Automation is rapidly accelerating and is more likely to impact those with lower levels of education and in lower paid employment. It is also more likely to impact young people as many roles that offer a first step onto the career ladder are roles more likely at risk of automation.

  • Digital competencies are increasingly in demand - as society shifts more towards online systems and phasing out face- to-face interaction, those who do not possess sufficient skills or knowledge (typically those from lower socio-economic backgrounds) will struggle to adapt.

  • Covid-19 has already further exacerbated existing inequalities. Periods of economic downturn further widen economic and social inequalities and may have significant impact on budget allocation and service delivery.

An understanding of key regional inequalities and future trends/risks help us determine key areas of focus and enables us to refine our equity priorities and objectives.