The Chancellor has launched a review of business productivity and fund new schemes to boost the UK’s performance and deliver higher wages for people across the country.
Some £20m will go towards the Made Smarter scheme in the North West, led by Siemen’s chief, Juergen Maier, which is aimed at increasing uptake of digital technology among manufacturing supply chains.
A further £5.6m will reportedly be invested in Charlie Mayfield’s Be The Business initiative to fund two pilots in the North West and Cornwall.
Speaking at the CBI’s annual dinner last night (22 May), the Chancellor said: “Government can’t solve our nation’s productivity challenge alone. Because it is not only about infrastructure investment. It is also about management skills at the level of the firm.
“We need business leaders in this room and around the country to embrace innovation and technological change and to invest in driving productivity growth.
“Britain of course has many world-leading companies that do this very well but there are also far too many that could be doing a lot better.
“And today I am launching a call for evidence that looks into why some businesses aren’t keeping up and don’t learn from the best. And seeks ideas for how government and industry can work together to help more firms realise their potential.
“And in parallel with the call for evidence I can announce new collaborations aimed at boosting firm-level productivity, working with Greg Clark, the Business Secretary.”
Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens and chair of the Made Smarter review commented: “It’s vital that the UK leads a new industrial revolution, and makes the most of the rapid digitalisation of our manufacturing base. For Britain to thrive our SME’s must be equipped with the skills and technologies needed to make and export more.
“I am delighted the Chancellor shares my ambition to ensure the UK is at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution. By getting behind Made Smarter and funding our innovative pilot, together we will help businesses boost productivity and take full advantage of this technological change.”