Business Secretary Vince Cable outlined “it will be necessary to win battles in Government to prioritise this agenda [the Industrial Strategy]” in a speech in London today.
Dr Cable’s comments signal that not all of Government is behind the long-term strategy he announced in September.
Asserting the importance of continuation if the Liberal Democrats are not in government after the next election, Dr Cable commented: “Investment in skills a classic market failure, requiring permanent government support.”
The Business Secretary also tried to manage expectations by saying that the government’s manufacturing initiatives will take time to bear fruit.
“More needs to be done to reverse the constraints on skills that have resulted from the historic lack of investment.”
The Business Secretary said that getting the skills system right has been government’s biggest mistake and the reason why a long-term strategy is required.
“To have the skills we need in 2020 or 2030 we need to start acting now,” commented Cable. “Too much failure in the past has come from the government ignoring the input of industry.”
Slamming past government’s record on skills he stated that the long-term Industrial Strategy is recognition “that is necessary to plan for the long-term […] and an understanding that government must work with industry to tackle genuine market failures where they occur.”
After confusion in the mainstream media, Cable affirmed that this does not mean picking winners in the traditional sense, entrenching old industries, “but ensuring that the UK is ready to take advantage of new opportunities as they develop.”