"Today’s announcement shows the Government has its eye firmly on the horizon, not just the next few yards. (…) The hard work starts now. Industrial Strategy must be the beginning of a strategic race, not a tactical sprint. And it needs to last. This is a time for consistency and determination, not perpetual change with the political winds. The creation of an independent council with teeth to monitor progress will help this." Carolyn Fairbairn – 27 November 2017
Key successes for businesses were:
- Industrial Strategy Vision – Businesses were clear that they wanted Government to present a vision for its Industrial Strategy that would ensure its delivery and hold both Government and business accountable, and it was critical element of the CBI’s Green Paper submission. The CBI and its members are therefore pleased with the Government’s vision to create an economy that boosts productivity and earning power throughout the UK.
- Innovation– Business will welcome the focus on research and innovation within the Government’s Industrial Strategy, the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, as well as the improved R&D tax credit are particularly critical and have been key priorities for the CBI and its members.
- Local industrial strategies – Place is at the heart of a modern Industrial Strategy, and improving productivity and growth through local industrial strategies has been a critical element of the CBI’s thinking around a successful industrial strategy. Addressing national and local barriers to growth will help create prosperous communities throughout the UK. No place should be left behind because of their place in the journey to devolution.
- Local infrastructure funding – The Chancellor followed the advice of CBI members in the 2017 Autumn Budget by boosting transport infrastructure through an expanded National Productivity Investment Fund to £31bn, as well as outlining further details-specifically funding of £1.7bn-on the allocation of the Transforming Cities Fund. Making sure all regions can access the funding they need will be essential, especially where a devolution deal has not yet been agreed.
- Independent Industrial Strategy Council – Businesses are pleased by the announcement of an Independent Industrial Strategy Council. The CBI has long made the case for an independent body to get to grips with monitoring and measuring the success of this roll-out. This will allow for frank and honest assessments that would help avoid the trap of the Industrial Strategy becoming a political football.
But there is still more the Government can do. The CBI is engaging with the Government to make sure that measures in the Industrial Strategy White Paper are delivered in ways that support your ability to invest and create jobs.
- We will push the Government to ensure the Industrial Strategy Council has real teeth with clear measurements and metrics to judge the success or failure of the strategy.
- We will continue to press the Government for guidance on how local industrial strategies will be supported, resourced and implemented quickly after agreement.
- We will continue to press the Government – including through the National Retraining Partnership - to make the apprenticeship levy work by delivering a flexible training levy that meets employers’ and individuals’ skills needs.
- We will continue to work with Government to support increased productivity and competitiveness across the supply chain, through the sharing of best practice.