Nick Clegg reveals strategy to boost manufacturing supply chains

Posted on 11 Nov 2014 by Victoria Fitzgerald

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced an action plan dedicated to boosting manufacturing supply chains to deliver a multi-billion pound lift for British industry.

Scheduled to be published in the New Year, the proposal will encourage and support UK manufacturers to work together with British companies to produce the parts they need, rather than relying on overseas manufacturers. The government will work in partnership with leading employers to develop the plan, with its approach to industrial strategy.

The strategy will be the first coherent plan put in place for the vital networks of suppliers that are crucial to making and building things in the UK.

It will build on the work that the government has already done to help secure the growth of the manufacturing industry – including through the Regional Growth Fund, the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain InitiativeReshore UK, the Manufacturing Advisory Service and greater support for employer-led skills training.

The aim is that by early next year, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills will publish and implement the action plan to address some of the challenges UK supply chains face in tackling skills gaps, adopting innovation and research, and ensuring more business finance to those British companies.

The Confederation of British Industry estimates that the UK could unlock around £30bn and generate up to 500,000 more jobs over the next decade by supporting and strengthening our domestic supply chains through concerted action.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “Every successful company is only as good as its supply chain. The last four decades have seen the UK’s manufacturing base increasingly forced to compete with low-cost economies for investment, jobs and growth.

“Some businesses have struggled and it has resulted in a hollowing out of the UK’s domestic supply chains with over half the supplies used in British manufacturing coming from overseas.

“This cannot go on. That’s why I’m acting now so we can get off this merry-go-round where every time a manufacturer shifts production overseas, the local companies that support them begin to disappear too.

“These supply industries are huge, important sectors in their own right – our steel makers, petrochemical companies, glass producers all the way down to car seats manufacturers – all of which employ thousands of people and generate millions for our economy but they need our support.”