Are you ready to seize the moment?
“Dynamic. Competitive. The most future-focused economy in the world. That’s the UK we need to build now – led by business to ensure we deliver economic and social progress.”
In the wake of COVID-19, the new UK-EU relationship, rapid technological advancement and the climate challenge, we are all bearing witness to a defining opportunity to reset the UK economy. We’re at a crossroads, knowing future generations will judge the path we choose, determining our people’s success for years to come.
The UK’s challenges are sharply felt. We lag behind our international peers in productivity and investment, and opportunities are not fairly shared across society. But we’re stronger than we think. Our capital city, world-leading universities, creative industries and professional services are unparalleled.
To fully realise our strengths, we need an ambitious vision for our 2030 economy. A vision with business, and its ability to drive prosperity through providing jobs and supporting communities, at its heart. Together, we can transform broad government strategies into concrete plans for good jobs, better wages and greater innovation. But we must act now.
By 2030, the UK will see an acceleration in economic growth, with prosperity spread across every region. We will champion green growth, creating new technologies and jobs that accelerate the race to net-zero. The UK will be a scientific and innovation superpower where, just as we did when developing vaccines, science and business work in total partnership.
Diversity and inclusion become what we’re known for – where everyone can bring their authentic self to work, irrespective of background, age, gender, sexuality, race or disability. And companies will have stronger bonds with employees, providing meaningful work and a focus on wellbeing.
How much of this ambition we can achieve depends on every UK business playing their part and rallying in unison. And the CBI will lead on business efforts to seize these prizes, identifying how firms can grab opportunities now in ways that benefit our people, our communities, and environment.
Winning the race to net-zero offers benefits to every single business, such as enhanced customer appeal – but it’s also the right thing to do for our society
An innovative economy improves competition, resulting in more choice and value for consumers, and helps the UK to lead the industries of the future
A truly globalised economy benefits from increased output and productivity, which boost living standards, and offers consumers lower prices and more choice
An economy that plays to every region’s distinctive strengths will empower communities, reducing long-standing inequalities and boosting regional prosperity
Diversity matters: not only because every person deserves equal chances to succeed, but increasing access to better educational and employment opportunities could add £139bn to GVA in 2030
A healthier nation, built on the foundation of wellbeing, could boost job satisfaction and business performance – and reduce health inequalities across the UK
All economic regulators must prioritise investment, innovation and agility as part of their core remits.
Play to the distinctive advantages of our regions and nations, commissioning the CBI and partners to shape the playbook on how to do this through economic clusters.
Make skills far more demand-led, and free up money currently trapped in the Apprenticeship Levy so that businesses can invest in everyone’s lifelong learning.
Foster a cultural change to power growth by creating a new Strategic Dialogue on Funding our Future, bringing together the whole value chain – from hungry investees to private investors.
The tax system needs a blueprint for restoring public finances in a way that supports business investment and net-zero, and makes the UK a leader on the world stage.
Winning the global race to net-zero really matters. Limiting the rise on global temperatures is fundamental to avoiding catastrophic impacts for all. Only business can provide the innovation and investment needed to succeed.Here's how to seize the moment
Breakthrough ideas and technologies, adopted by all, will create higher value jobs and healthier lives. By leading the way in the industries of the future, we’ll transform the landscape of the UK economy.Here's how to seize the moment
Trade underpins our economy – but the UK’s global share is in decline. Now is the time for tangible change. Making the UK a trading powerhouse will create jobs, raise incomes and improve living standards.Here's how to seize the moment
Ensuring every region and nation has distinctive strengths will rectify disparities that have impacted living standards for decades. We must close the gaps and guarantee a brighter future for all – no matter where in the UK you are.Here's how to seize the moment
Where work enables all talent to progress. The UK is one of the least socially mobile nations among its peers. Everyone – irrespective of their background and identity – must have equal opportunities to grow and develop.Here's how to seize the moment
Health is the foundation of wellbeing and economic growth and the driver of life satisfaction. Poor health has a huge societal and economic cost but, by focusing on wellbeing, UK businesses can help improve the quality of life of all employees.Here's how to seize the moment
If there was any lesson to be learnt from COVID-19, it’s that it disproportionately affected those who were already our most vulnerable members of society. As we look to seize this particular moment to reimagine the future of the UK and its people, we believe it's critical to ensure economic growth that is inclusive and equitable for everyone.
Claire Barclay, Microsoft
As a sustainable business, we know climate change must be halted. And post-pandemic, we must take this opportunity to create a more inclusive, fairer society, with opportunities for all. Businesses of all sizes have a role to play – alongside governments - in fuelling a brighter future for our young people.
Steve Sharratt, Group CEO, IBMS Group
Nationally, the CBI’s Seize the Moment project is exactly what is needed to grasp this once in a generation chance to set a more prosperous course for the economy. Regionally this is great news for the Midlands too, and I look forward to continuing conversations about making the UK and our regions globally competitive by playing to their individual strengths.
Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, Chairman & Founder, Morningside Pharmaceuticals
We welcome this vision for the UK economy, which sets out the collective steps we must take to capitalise on the UK’s competitive strengths, including in life sciences. GSK looks forward to playing our part to ensure the UK remains a world-leading place to invest and innovate in the years to come.
Dame Emma Walmsley, CEO, GlaxoSmithKline
Our Director-General Tony Danker travelled the UK digitally, meeting business of all sizes in each of the four UK nations. They told us that while short-term pressures meant they had less time to take a long-term view, our idea for a 2030 economic vision was essential to the UK’s future success.
The CBI began to analyse the current state of play and identify the biggest opportunities. We spoke to firms and universities in Wales about the pandemic, Brexit and recovery; to the London Council about their concerns for the capital; and to firms in construction and infrastructure on labour shortages and funding.
To speak for the whole economy, we had to hear from the whole economy. We spoke to representatives from 70+ industries at our Trade Association Council, and in sector roundtables with delegates from tech, creative, retail and more. We consulted with entrepreneurs and CEOs, alongside firms in Scotland and the North West.
We continued to push the boundaries of the vision with input from SMEs, entrepreneurs, Chairs and CEOs, gaining appreciation for the UK’s many strengths. In the East Midlands we heard of the power of green tech, and in Northern Ireland we recognised the importance of stability and recovery.
The vision took shape as we explored potential for growth in detail with entrepreneurs, identifying that business’ role to ‘do good’ in society has never been more important – and that this vision would be key to ensuring business remained at the beating heart of societal change.
In Northern Ireland, the Executive has outlined its plan for rebuilding; the Scottish Government has responded to the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery; and Wales has produced a plan for recovering from the economic damage of COVID-19.
In a recent speech, the Labour Party outlined how the coronavirus pandemic has created a moment to think about the country that we want to be. And the Liberal Democrats outlined the UK’s opportunity to become a world leader in green energy, with decarbonisation driving the economic recovery.
The Economic Inquiry aims to understand the decade of economic change facing the UK and what it means for people, and it will set out a framework for navigating the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the next 10 years.
The Covid Recovery Commission set out bold policy recommendations to ensure that the UK emerges from the crisis stronger, fairer and more resilient. And the FSB’s Good Business Pays campaign demonstrates the positive impacts of paying the supply chain promptly.
We’ll test the analysis with our networks, asking what they like, what they disagree with and what’s missing. And we’ll call on them to help identify the burning issues that the government must address right now.
These groups will focus on the actions required to seize the moment and achieve the prizes, using their expert knowledge on where gaps exist and what needs to be done to address them.
As the engine powering this vision, we will dial up the practical support and guidance we offer around the six themes of the vision. And we’re committing, right now, to a full review of progress at our 2021 Conference.
We’ll engage constructively with government on our ideas for accelerating their Plan for growth, helping them to see the actions they must take to realise the prizes we’ve identified.
We want to work with anyone who has an interest in realising this economic vision – in seizing the moment – and we’re keen to signpost to your work. Sign up on this page to let us know your thoughts and initiatives.
The CBI has set out its vision and plan to establish a competitive, dynamic and future-focussed economy in the decade ahead.Read more