The official representative of the UK’s manufacturers has called upon the Government to use the upcoming Budget as a starting point to set out a huge long-term industrial and economic strategy. Make UK wants the country to take advantage of the world class science base and recent growth in new technological developments.
Make UK called for action from the Government after their recent Manufacturing Monitor tracking survey revealed UK manufacturing companies are expecting the recovery from the effects of the pandemic to take a long time.
Long-Term Plan with Short-Term Tactical Measures
It was also said that the UK’s manufacturing industry will require some short-term tactical measures in addition to the long-term plan. These measures will be primarily helping companies stay in business until the pandemic is under control.
Make UK believes the Government needs a ‘change in mindset’ which is currently too focused on how the country can diverge from the EU. The manufacturing industry representative wants the Government to focus on how we can benefit from digital technologies, integrate academia innovations and take advantage of the growth opportunities arising from the move towards a net zero economy by 2050.
‘Work with Industry’ to Harness World Class Science and Innovation
The Chief Executive Officer of Make UK, Stephen Phipson, said: “As a country and an economy we are at a crossroads. There are clearly short term issues to address including fixing border delays and Budget measures to ease industry’s cost base to help companies through the rest of this year. Looking to the long term, however, we need to lift our horizons to how we can transform the economy. This will require a different mindset in Government from simply believing we can achieve growth simply through diverging from EU regulations which have little or no economic significance in the bigger picture.”
Mr Phipson suggests that Britain needs a better industrial strategy and vision ‘on a scale not seen since the Marshall Plan’, also known as the European Recovery Program which was a American program providing financial aid to countries in western Europe following Second World War. Phipson believes a better strategy and vision will help identify new technologies and market openings that can benefit from enterprise-friendly policies on taxation, research and development, infrastructure and regional investment.
“In particular,” Phipson continues, “Government must work with industry to harness our thriving, world-class academic science and innovation base and put in place a process whereby this can be commercialised, especially as we move to a net zero economy. Now we have left the EU this will require a drive and vision to ensure we build new markets in the UK, together with support for exporters to help them compete in global ones overseas.”
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