Last week’s poll: the industrial strategy white paper

What do Engineer readers think of the government’s new industrial strategy?

industrial strategy

The latest industrial strategy, covered in this article, has been relatively well received, with many bodies noting that Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has listened to the concerns of industry in the white paper’s formulation.

This prompted The Engineer to focus attention on the thoughts of its readers and their opinions on the latest attempt to focus government activity on improving productivity and high-tech innovation.

No clear winner emerged from the poll, with the most participants agreeing that the industrial strategy white paper doesn’t do enough for SMEs (38 per cent), and a third (33 per cent) believing it’ll need more funding.

Contained within the white paper was the announcement of an Industrial Strategy Council to measure progress. Of the 210 respondents, 15 per cent thought the industrial strategy would require a stronger ‘watchdog’, and only six per cent thought it would meet most of industry’s needs.

The remaining eight per cent chose ‘other’ and the opinions that followed pulled no punches.

Edited highlights include that from Another Steve who said: “Any so-called strategy put forward by a single political party is doomed from the outset. A strategy for the UK should be developed, agreed and championed by ALL political parties with an agreement to implement the strategy regardless of who is in power. If political parties cannot identify and agree what’s best for the UK then they’re in the wrong job!”

A certain John Sally Swigglebottom weighed in with: “A joke, the five pillars could describe anything. It could be a strategy on how to plow a field. It is too little too late. It is a strategy on how to ‘just about cope with the fallout of Brexit’. The most effective industrial strategy would be to cancel this madness.”

David Oliver said: “The reality is that it doesn’t do enough for SMEs, it will require more funding, it will require a stronger watchdog and it does not meet most of industry’s needs. That said this strategy does provide an interesting framework and we should not just want to stomp all over it! We need to get real, we will leave the EU and UK plc does not earn remotely near enough to fund all of the institutions that the public demands.”

Support for the industrial strategy came from Edward, who said: “I quite like the strategy – it’s a massive step forward from anything that we have seen in the past 40 years. It has also been developed by talking to industry, the catapults and the engineering institutions which makes a refreshing change. The strategy will clearly need to be backed by hard cash but it is a good start.”

The debate remains open and your thoughts are welcome in Comments below.