TM’s Victoria Fitzgerald interviews Secretary of State for Industry Vince Cable about the future of manufacturing beyond the wealth of encouraging data and how Scottish independence, a renegotiation in Europe and a focus on reshoring is set to impact the sector’s trajectory.
British manufacturing has enjoyed an enviable surge in confidence since the start of 2014, with multiple surveys recording solid output and an increase in orders.
Data released in June revealed UK productivity to be almost 4% below its prerecession level and 21% below the average productivity level across G7 nations. TM asks Dr Cable to weigh in on ways to raise productivity, investment in automation and technology and whether automation is counterintuitive to Government drives in job creation.
There also remains scepticism and confusion following October’s Foresight report, which had the the proposal for a US-style office for manufacturing rejected.
Following the proposed takeover of UK pharmaceutical manufacturer AstraZeneca by its US rival Pfizer, TM discusses the outcome of unintended corporate tax consequences and Government plans to avoid these situations in the future.
In addition, TM broaches the big push for re-shoring, a renegotiation in Europe and the consequences of an independent Scotland for UK manufacturing, as well as, the skills gap and Government’s drive to fill it.