Headlines: February 18th, 1999

New figures on competitiveness will give England’s new regional development agencies some benchmarks to work on when comparing how their region is doing compared with others in the country.A picture of the competitive position of each of the regions is given in new statistics from the Government Statistical Service. When up and running, the new RDAs will be able to use the information to inform their economic development strategies.

The new figures measure each region’s overall competitiveness by using such benchmarks as the state of the labour market, quality of education and training, capital investment, and quality of land and infrastructure available.

The figures will also inform work on the Competitiveness White Paper.

The new indicators show that the best qualified workforce is in the South East, that small businesses in the North East and Merseyside are leading the way on achieving Investors in People, and that investment in research and development is strongest in the East of England and also in Merseyside.

The publication will be available on the DTI website at www.dti.gov.uk/sd/rci