Manchester perfectly placed to lead fourth industrial revolution

Peter Mandelson at KPMG

Manchester is perfectly placed to be at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution – according to former government minister Peter Mandelson.

The architect of New Labour was speaking at an event held by accountancy firm KPMG at its offices in the centre of Manchester.

A packed audience gave the Manchester Survivors’ Choir an ovation after they performed two songs.

The event was hosted by KPMG’s senior partner Nicola Quayle.

Following the moving performance Lord Mandelson gave a speech about the opportunities and challenges facing Manchester.

The man who was known as the Prince of Darkness said: “What is going to hold Manchester back is not money, policy or enterprise it is skilled employees.

“The demand for skilled employees is going to be greater than ever.

“This city which was at forefront of industrial revolution and it is going to be at the forefront of fourth industrial revolution, but it will need people with the right skills.”

He added: “The first challenge for Manchester is finance.

“There is more private equity and venture capital than in most other parts of country.

“Harnessing that finance is the challenge, what private finance needs is speed of decision making.”

He said: “The second challenge is inclusion.

“Manchester has 60 cranes in the city, but we have to make sure all the proud towns that surround city are included in the success story.

“The reality is that politics have fallen out of sync with economics. Economics are doing ok, it is the politics that is not doing ok in this country. There is a lack of leadership.

He added: “The third challenge is summed up in one word – agility.

“Everything we do is changing so rapidly which being ahead of curve in these shifts is so important.

“The rewards and the advantages will go to those who are the most agile.”