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2 minute read

CBI launches new council to put manufacturing at heart of Industrial Strategy

With growing opportunities for the UK’s manufacturers in industrial digitisation, innovation and emerging new markets, the CBI will be establishing a new Manufacturing Council to help support the UK’s makers.

Manufacturing currently makes up around 10% of the UK economy and accounts for over two-thirds of all UK spend on research and development, so it is vital that its voice is heard and helps shape the UK’s future economic performance.

The new CEO-level council will bring together dozens of the UK’s top manufacturers – small, medium and large – from across the country and will be chaired by Tom Crotty, Group Director of Ineos. At the heart of the group’s work will be:

• Shaping the skills agenda to build a UK workforce fit to adapt to AI and digitisation
• Building a new visionary industrial strategy that supports productivity
• Creating pathways to the delivery of the UK’s target of 3% of GDP invested in R&D by 2020
• Delivering a Brexit that works for the UK’s manufacturing base.

The new CEO-level council will be made up of dozens of the UK’s top manufacturers / Picture: Getty/iStock

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Deputy Director-General, said: “A strong and diverse UK manufacturing industry is the foundation of a robust economy. And with the global economy changing at a dizzying pace, it has never been more important that its 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.”

CBI Deputy Director-General, Carolyn Fairbairn / Picture: CBI

Tom Crotty, Group Director of Ineos, 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.   The CBI is the voice of UK business and I am very proud to bring together some of the country’s best manufacturers, both large and small, as we look to grow our vital manufacturing base.”