The CBI is establishing a new Manufacturing Council to help British manufacturers take advantage of opportunities in industrial digitisation, innovation and emerging new markets.
According to the CBI, Britain’s manufacturers must help shape the UK’s future economic performance as the sector makes up around 10 per cent of the UK economy and accounts for over two-thirds of all UK spend on research and development.
The new CEO-level council is expected to 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.
In a statement, 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.”
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.