BEIS forum to help steer UK’s industrial strategy

Posted on 25 Oct 2016 by Jonny Williamson

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has announced that it will hold an evidence session at the Manufacturing Technology Centre this week as part of it's inquiry into the government’s industrial strategy.

Leading representatives from business, local government, academia and manufacturing will sit before the panel of 11 MPs on Thursday October 27 as part of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee’s inquiry into how the government can shape its industrial strategy.

The session, which is open to the public and will be streamed live on Parliament TV, has been reportedly brought to the Midlands as the region is recognised as having a strong industrial and manufacturing base, while the MTC is at the forefront of innovation for British manufacturing.

Witnesses are expected to include Hamid Mughal, director of global manufacturing at Rolls-Royce; Andy Palmer, chief executive of Aston Martin; and Tony Burke, assistant general secretary for manufacturing at the Unite trade union.

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council; West Midlands Combined Authority; Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership; Aston Business School, and the Warwick Manufacturing Group are also due to be represented.

The Committee will hold three panels which will focus on Catapult centres and advanced manufacturing; Local Enterprise Partnerships and Combined Authorities; and lessons from the automotive sector.

Following the session, the Committee will be given a tour of the MTC, a purpose-built facility to develop and demonstrate new technologies on an industrial scale, by MTC strategic development director, Neil Rawlinson.

Committee chair, Iain Wright MP explained: “A competitive manufacturing sector and skilled workforce are vital for a well-balanced and prosperous economy.

“That is why we are keen to hear the views of manufacturers, business leaders, academics and local government on what the government’s industrial strategy must look like if it is to help the sector, the Midlands and the UK as a whole to thrive.”

Chris White, MP for Leamington and Warwick and a member of the BEIS Committee, added: “The Midlands is a centre of manufacturing, skilled workers and world-class research facilities and makes a vital contribution to the UK economy and so I am glad that my Committee colleagues are coming to see first-hand the excellent work that is being done here.

“If the government is to succeed with its forthcoming industrial strategy then it must also listen to, and learn from, regions such as the Midlands in order to create the conditions for their continued growth.”