Green Paper on Industrial Strategy
As long-term members of the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) we benefit from a great deal of useful information concerning the state of manufacturing in the UK. Last week I received the below email from Paul O’Donnell who is Head of External Affairs at the MTA and thought I would share it with you as it contains some very useful insight and analysis in to what Government policy has been regarding industry over the last 10 years and the new approach signaled by Theresa May’s Green Paper on Industrial Strategy. I have included the link to the Green Paper as I know the contents will be of great interest to many of you.
Monday saw the publication of the Government’s new Green Paper on Industrial Strategy. Industrial Strategy has been up and down the policy agenda for nearly ten years – ever since the financial crisis led politicians to start thinking about some questions about the role of the state in the economy which had lain dormant through the years of de-industrialisation.
Peter Mandelson took some of the first initiatives in the dying days of the last Labour Government but Vince Cable’s sector led approach has been the most thorough – at least for favoured sectors such as aerospace and automotive. In his short time as Business Secretary Sajid Javid seemed allergic to the concept, supposedly banning the term and abolishing some of his predecessor’s flagship policies like the Business Growth Service. That changed when Theresa May came into Number 10 with a clear and explicit commitment to create an Industrial Strategy. The Green Paper of this week is the first step towards that.
The paper, which is relatively detailed and wide ranging, is structured around ten ‘pillars’ which cover: R&D, Skills, Infrastructure, Access to Finance, Government Procurement, Trade, Energy, Support for Sectors, Growth across the Country and Local Institutions.
There is much to welcome. Firstly, there is a very positive specific mention of manufacturing processes (technologies) as a priority area for innovation funding; the skills chapter includes a valuable recognition that comprehensive and positive Advice and Guidance which is positive about apprenticeships is key; there is a promising looking examination of the digitalisation of manufacturing to be led by Juergen Maier; and finally, for the first time in years, a positive mention for the role of Trade Shows.
The MTA will be making a full response to the consultation which is structured around 38 questions, some of which are very open ended. The paper is attached and viewable via this link Green Paper On Industrial Strategy