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      Integrating Labour Markets and post-Pandemic Mobility

      The Oxford-Cambridge Arc concept was borne out of a recognition that greater connectivity across the area could lead to significant economic gains.

      19 Feb 2022 Hilary Chipping, Chief Executive, SEMLEP

      The Cambridge Econometrics/ SQW study, conducted for the National Infrastructure Commission in 2016, found that there were a number of successful north-south economic corridors feeding into London, but very little in the way of east-west economic linkages. According to 2011 Census data, only 1.7 per cent of the resident workforce in the Central Area of the Arc worked in Oxford or Cambridge, versus 5.1 per cent in London. There is a consensus that, if these corridors and their respective knowledge-intensive labour markets could be better integrated, the national economic benefit from knowledge spill-overs could be huge. 

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      There is a key role for central and local government to strategically plan for – and, in some cases, financially underpin – the renewable energy production, charging infrastructure, public and active transport links, integrating ticketing and digital infrastructure that is needed to realise this vision for the future.

      This will involve some retrofitting and/or upgrading of existing infrastructure, as well as new provision, and will also involve thinking creatively and ahead of demand about new regulatory frameworks that might be required (e.g. for hydrogen use). 

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