THE UK’S CBI has established a new CEO-level Manufacturing Council to ensure that the voices of companies key to UK economy are “heard loud and clear”.
According to the CBI – the Confederation of British Industry – manufacturing makes up around 10% of the UK economy and accounts for more than two-thirds of all UK investment spent on research and development.
The new Council will be chaired by Tom Crotty, group director at chemicals giant Ineos, and will bring together CEOs from dozens of the country’s top small, medium and large manufacturers.
The group will focus on shaping the skills agenda to help adapt the UK workforce for Industry 4.0; ensuring Brexit works for the UK manufacturing base; and building a “new visionary” industrial strategy to support productivity, which the government lambasted as a “shocking” long-term weakness as it launched its Industrial Strategy plans in November last year.
Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director-general, said: “With the global economy changing at a dizzying pace, it has never been more important that [industry’s] voice is heard loud and clear. Building on our strengths in innovation, science and emerging technologies, the prize is to make the UK one of the greatest success stories of the next wave of global industrialisation.
“Our surveys show that UK manufacturers are on the march, with production and orders growing strongly, but with the challenges posed by Brexit, everything possible must be done to ensure they can stay ahead of the game. It is a time to build the confidence to invest and export, creating new high quality jobs across the country.”
Crotty added: “A vibrant manufacturing sector is essential to the growth of the UK economy. It provides high quality, skilled jobs, boosts the country’s trade position and allows the UK to compete in a challenging and changing world.”