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3 minute read - 31st January 2023

National Manufacturing Conference to address the challenges UK manufacturers face in 2023 and beyond

Make UK’s National Manufacturing Conference, “Inspiring Solutions”, will take place at the QEII Centre in Westminster on Tuesday 7th March. The flagship annual event for 2023 will once again bring together leading politicians, senior industrialists and manufacturing innovators against historic economic challenges.

With energy prices remaining at record highs and global supply chains still under pressure, this year’s conference will look at how companies can adapt their production processes, secure a skilled workforce for the future and look at the benefits of decarbonising their business to save money. A number of high-profile speakers have been signed up including Nusrat Ghani, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, who will look at the current climate and the opportunities to boost the sector, giving a unique perspective into current Government proprieties.

The audience will also hear from Rt Hon Rachel Reeves MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, who will discuss the Labour Party’s vision for the economic and industrial landscape. She will outline what manufacturers could expect from a prospective Labour Government while mapping out her party’s plans for the development of a new Industrial Strategy to boost Britain’s businesses.

The Make UK National Manufacturing Conference takes place in London on 7th March / Picture: Make UK

The keynote speech with political insight from across party divide this year comes courtesy of former Downing Street Director of Communications Alastair Campbell and ex-cabinet minister Rory Stewart OBE, from The Rest is Politics Podcast. Hear them lift the lid on the secrets of Westminster and offer an insider’s view on politics home and abroad, looking at the current landscape and unpicking secrets of the most powerful decision makers today. They will look at the inside track on how the current domestic political situation may play out in the run up to the next election.

The conference will be chaired once again by broadcaster Steph McGovern, herself a former engineer who will guide us through the line-up for the day. A series of workshops designed to help companies find solutions to grow their businesses more successfully going forward and navigate the current challenging landscape will run throughout the day. Key themes for this year’s breakout session discussions include Recruiting Outside the Box – how manufacturers can snap up the best talent and the chronic labour shortage. Digitise to Decarbonise looks to explore how companies can use technology to improve energy efficiency, reduce consumption and therefore cost. Finally, Global Britain vs Make it Britain interrogates the benefits of bringing manufacturing back onshore against looking to expand the sector globally.

The final speaker on the agenda is Vicky Austin, Associate Professor of Social Justice and Innovation and CEO of GDI Hub CIC.  Previously Head of London 2012 Paralympic Legacy, Vicki brings over 20 years’ experience of working on disability and social justice on major international projects and will give insight and inspiration on how to deliver inclusivity within the sector and take advantage of the best talent available.

A number of high-profile speakers will look at the current climate and the opportunities to boost the sector / Picture: Make UK

The Conference will conclude with a celebratory manufacturing dinner at the QEII Centre, with after dinner speaker Beth Rigby. The Political Editor and Presenter (currently seen on Sky News) will deliver her unique political knowledge and insight gleaned from her wide political contacts.

Stephen Phipson, chief executive of Make UK, said: “Our conference comes at a critical time for industry, with unprecedented pressure from energy prices, chronic labour shortages and challenging global supply chain difficulties. This conference provides an important collaborative platform for industry and Government to work together to help grow this resilient sector which already provides 2.7 million jobs around the whole of the UK. Going forward, it is essential that we look to build resilience across the sector to protect our supply chains and at the same time looking to grasp new trade opportunities as we continue to build free trade agreements with the rest of the world.”

To find out more and register visit: National Manufacturing Conference

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