EEF's update on its Route to Growth report shows that while progress has made made, several key deficiencies in a true industrial strategy remain.
Analysis by the manufacturer’s organisation shows that, despite progress, these areas need more work and a more consensus within government to affect real growth based on investment and export-led manufacturing.
It’s Industrial Strategy – One Year On report shows:
- The government has made positive steps forward but it lacks an over-arching strategy, ensuring coherence of policy across all departments. Lack of consistency in delivery risks sending the wrong signal to potential investors.
- Progress has been made in measures to encourage investment in new equipment, research and development and to support increased exports. But these are in danger of being undermined by limited advances in improving the availability and cost and getting more businesses to re-engage with banks. .
- The government is starting to develop the right approach to support employer investment in skills, but real progress in addressing skill shortages will be impeded unless more is done to improve the pipeline of appropriately skilled young people leaving the education system.
- The latest Spending Review addressed transport infrastructure priorities but the challenge is to secure faster delivery, develop a more strategic approach and increase the prospects of UK firms winning contracts.
- Although there has been a commitment to address the exposure of energy intensive industries to rising electricity prices, a growing number of medium-sized energy users face rising costs that are out of line with their competitors.
- The government has set out its commitment to cut red tape but progress has been slow, particularly in the climate and environment area and it has been undermined by unnecessary additional measures or an overly complex approach.