Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation, will hold this year’s National Manufacturing Conference, “Inspiring Solutions”, in London on Tuesday 7th March 2023.
The flagship annual event at the QEII Conference Centre, Westminster will once again bring together leading politicians, senior industrialists and manufacturing innovators against landscape of unprecedented challenge.
With energy prices remaining at record highs and global supply chains still under pressure, this year’s conference will look at how companies can adapt their production processes, secure a skilled workforce for the future and look at the benefits of decarbonising their business to save money. A number of high-profile speakers have been signed up including Nusrat Ghani, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, who will look at the current climate and the opportunities to boost the sector. The audience will also hear from Rt Hon Rachel Reeves MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, who will discuss the Labour Party’s vision for the economic and industrial landscape. She will outline what manufacturers could expect from a prospective Labour Government while mapping out her party’s plans for the development of a new Industrial Strategy to boost Britain’s businesses.
The keynote political insight speech this year comes courtesy of former Downing Street Director of Communications Alastair Campbell and ex-cabinet minister Rory Stewart, from The Rest is Politics Podcast. They will give an insider’s view on politics home and abroad, as well as looking at the current UK and global geopolitical landscape, together with the likely impact on the economy and manufacturing in the near and medium term.
The conference will be chaired once again by broadcaster Steph McGovern, herself a former engineer who will guide us through the line-up for the day.
A series of workshops designed to help companies find solutions to grow their businesses more successfully going forward and navigate the current challenging landscape will run throughout the day. Key themes for this year’s breakout session discussions include Recruiting Outside the Box – how manufacturers can snap up the best talent and the chronic labour shortage. Digitise to Decarbonise looks to explore how companies can use technology to improve energy efficiency, reduce consumption and therefore cost. Finally, Global Britain vs Make it Britain interrogates the benefits of bringing manufacturing back onshore against looking to expand the sector globally.
The final speaker on the agenda is Vicky Austin, Associate Professor of Social Justice and Innovation and CEO of GDI Hub CIC. Previously Head of London 2012 Paralympic Legacy, Vicki brings over 20 years’ experience of working on disability and social justice on major international projects and will give insight and inspiration on how to deliver inclusivity within the sector and take advantage of the best talent available.
The Conference will conclude with a celebratory manufacturing dinner at the QEII Centre, with after dinner speaker, broadcaster and political journalist Beth Rigby who will speak with insight gleaned from her wide political contacts.
Stephen Phipson, Chief Executive of Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation, says: “Our conference comes at a critical time for industry, with unprecedented pressure from energy prices, chronic labour shortages and challenging global supply chain difficulties.
“This conference provides an important collaborative platform for industry and Government to work together to help grow this resilient sector which already provides 2.7 million jobs around the whole of the UK.
“Going forward, it is essential that we look to build resilience across the sector to protect our supply chains and at the same time looking to grasp new trade opportunities as we continue to build free trade agreements with the rest of the world.”