New Manufacturing Council to shape UK’s industrial strategy  

Posted on 15 Aug 2017 by Jonny Williamson

The CBI has announced that it will be establishing a new Manufacturing Council in order to put the UK's makers at the heart of government's Industrial Strategy.

Industrial Strategy - Manufacturing makes up around 10% of the UK economy - image courtesy of Pixabay.
Manufacturing makes up around 10% of the UK economy and accounts for over two-thirds of all UK spend on research and development – image courtesy of Pixabay.

The Manufacturing Council will be established due to the growing opportunities for UK manufacturers in industrial digitalisation, innovation, and emerging markets, according to the CBI.

Currently, manufacturing makes up around 10% of the UK economy and accounts for over two-thirds of all UK spend on research and development. Therefore, it’s vital that its voice is heard and helps shape the UK’s industrial strategy and future economic performance.

By establishing the new CEO-level Manufacturing Council, the CBI hopes to bring together dozens of the UK’s top manufacturers, of all sizes, from across the country.

The council is expected to be chaired by Tom Crotty, group director of the leading chemical company Ineos.

At the heart of the Manufacturing Council’s work will be:

  • Shaping the skills agenda to build a UK workforce fit to adapt to artificial intelligence (AI) and the digitalisation of manufacturing
  • Building a new visionary industrial strategy that supports productivity
  • Creating pathways to the delivery of the UK’s target of 3% of GDP invested in R&D by 2020
  • Delivering a Brexit that works for the UK’s manufacturing base.

CBI deputy director-general, Carolyn Fairbairn explained: “A strong and diverse UK manufacturing industry is the foundation of a robust economy. And with the global economy changing at a dizzying pace, it has never been more important that its voice is heard loud and clear.

“Building on our strengths in innovation, science and emerging technologies, the prize is to make the UK one of the greatest success stories of the next wave of global industrialisation.”

“Our surveys show that UK manufacturers are on the march, with production and orders growing strongly, but with the challenges posed by Brexit, everything possible must be done to ensure they can stay ahead of the game. It is a time to build the confidence to invest and export, creating new high quality jobs across the country.”

Indeos’ Tom Crotty commented: ”A vibrant manufacturing sector is essential to the growth of the UK economy. It provides high quality, skilled jobs, boosts the country’s trade position and allows the UK to compete in a challenging and changing world.”