At a time of unprecedented change for the nation, the CBI has called on the government to create a clear mission for a more innovative, inclusive, and competitive economy for the UK by 2030.
Leading business group, the CBI believes that a modern Industrial Strategy will improve the nation’s living standards, with the potential to reduce the gap between the worst and best performing regions by 15% by 2030.
Ultimately, it could raise productivity levels nationwide, in the words of Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director-general, “helping to lift economic activity throughout all parts of the UK” and in doing so, drive the UK into a more globally competitive position.
The CBI wants the government to commit to using less conventional targets, instead opting for ones that can more effectively measure the success of the strategy within the UK.
These include income levels and distribution, employment rates, and how economic activity is dispersed across the country. It’s a move that is reportedly backed by businesses of all sizes and in every sector.
The renaissance of the manufacturing industry in the UK as proposed by the CBI, should be created with a balance of government, traditional business, and new wave entrepreneurial spirit.
To make this happen, it must be underpinned by a world-leading partnership between business and government, based on trust and shared interest. Helping to make the UK the easiest place in the world to start a business will be a significant driving force for competitive advantage in the global market place.
Alongside creating longevity and success for established and new entrants by ensuring that planning and execution is coordinated at every stage and that every investment moves the country forward in a fair and sustainable way.
The CBI has set out six main areas of action by the government to deliver a modern Industrial Strategy:
- Build clear UK2030 vision: a uniting sense of purpose
The Industrial Strategy needs a clear vision supported by tangible Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and a brand that galvanises all parts of the economy.
- Fix the foundations
Government can help businesses by improving skills policy, delivering various infrastructure projects, establishing an affordable plan for emissions reductions and maintaining a stable tax framework.
- Innovation at the heart of the strategy
A competitive advantage depends on our ability to develop and commercialise new ideas as well as the ability of businesses to adopt technology and become more productive.
- Empower regions
The Industrial Strategy must increase living standards for everyone living in the UK and enable regions to develop and champion their own economic strengths.
- Keep sector strategies light and simple
Support for sectors should be based on clear criteria to ensure collaboration is genuinely productive.
- Make it last
To be successful the Industrial Strategy must be long term in its outlook. It must measure progress against clear KPIs and be independently monitored to help ensure that it survives changes of Government.
In its response to the Industrial Strategy Green Paper, the CBI specifically urged the government to:
- Appoint an independent commissioner. Ensuring all regions of the UK have appropriate levels of devolution to deliver the Industrial Strategy effectively
- Build a ‘UK2030’ brand to energise and unite the public and private sectors towards success. The ‘Great Britain’ campaign has shown how a powerful UK brand, initiated by the government, can have a significant impact
- Establish an independent monitoring body to measure progress and provide independent and impartial advice on where efforts should be concentrated
- Publish simple and clear criteria for sector deals in the White Paper.