Following the UK Government’s whitepaper on levelling up, the Industrial Policy Research Centre (IPRC) has called for a UK-wide manufacturing strategy to safeguard the sector and to ensure it has a bright future.
In a statement, the IPRC’s chair, Dr Clive Hickman, pointed out that between 1997 and 2009, a million and a half jobs in the sector were lost. He said a strategy is needed to ensure that the country is globally competitive enough to become a leading manufacturer, thus protecting the jobs of 2.7 million workers.
The IPRC suggests a number of interventions, such as creating better links between industry and academia, providing sector-specific funding for net-zero objectives, devolving powers to enable regions to tailor their own strategies, addressing the lack of STEM skills through the education system and extending sector deals to cover emergent industries like hydrogen. It also suggests encouraging manufacturing clusters where businesses in a particular industrial sector cooperate to establish partnerships, improve productivity, embrace new innovations and become more competitive.
“We need a UK Manufacturing Strategy to ensure the sector is competitive and future proof. By taking these steps, we can reverse a decades-long reliance on imports and re-establish the UK as a global manufacturing superpower.”
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