Published: January 2016
Author(s): David Etherington, Martin Jones

Within the context of spatial rebalancing and a Northern (metro-region) Powerhouse, this article explores the implementation of the devolution of employment and skills within the Sheffield city region. We make both an original empirical and analytical contribution by suggesting that notions of governance and metagovernance failure are important for analyzing the development, tensions and contradictions of city region economic governance within the context of the UK Government’s devolution and localism agenda (in particular “Devolution Agreements”). We consider that governance failure arises because of the primacy of a neoliberal-dominated strategy orientation towards the market and its failure in the delivery of skills. Governance and metagovernance mechanisms are unable to sufficiently coordinate effective responses to address a legacy of de-industrialisation, deep-rooted labour market and sociospatial inequalities.