As someone who graduated with an engineering degree at the very time that the rug was pulled from under UK manufacturing, it is hugely encouraging that the Government has now published an ambitious plan to try and help shape the manufacturing economy of the future. Not to be confused with state interference, this plan has been pitched at providing support (strategic, financial and tactical) in various forms, to bring some coherence in achieving long term industrial success.
There are 10 strategic pillars, which will range from upgrading technical skills to taking a view on which sectors will be the most value creating over the next 20 years or so.
The CBI thinks a “a modern Industrial Strategy will be a landmark opportunity to build a successful, modern economy as the foundation for a prosperous, fairer and more inclusive society. It must help fix the country’s productivity problems and remove the regional inequalities that have dogged our country for generations". Hear, hear!
Already, there are some areas of likely focus:
- industrial digitisation
- robotics and automation
- artificial intelligence
- energy technologies
- manufacturing processes and materials
- healthcare technologies and drugs
- smart energy technologies
- 5G mobile network technology
- automotive and aerospace
A great list, which should support UK plc and its investors to create world class businesses that can reach global markets. At Catalyst, we are already advising shareholders and management teams in a lot of these areas and know the level of talent and innovation that exists within the UK. This extra support can only deepen the pool of successful British businesses.