A manifesto outlining a vision for a more diverse and flexible manufacturing sector has been published by manufacturers’ organisation EEF.
‘Manufacturing Our Future’ sets out goals for the sector to promote economic stability. According to the EEF, there are ‘glimmers of recognition’ from across the political spectrum that action is needed in this sector, however, the UK still has some way to go to achieve this.
The manifesto claims that the growth of sectors such as aerospace, healthcare and energy are crucial if the UK is to provide the solutions to climate change, an ageing population and future security needs.
Among the proposals, the EEF suggests that companies entering new and developing markets need a clear signal about the government’s long-term priorities in terms of specific technologies, markets and investments.
The organisation also argues for a more coordinated approach to expert guidance on economic challenges and responses through the National Economic Council as well as for the re-establishment of the Industrial Bank tasked with investing in the future.
Commenting on the document, Gilbert Toppin, EEF chief executive, said: ‘Manufacturing must play a bigger role in our economy if we are to meet the challenges facing us over the next decade. It can be a major player in addressing climate change and meeting our demographic and security challenges as well as helping to claw back the twin deficits in the public sector and on trade.
‘But this will only happen if our manufacturers show the ambition and make the investments needed to achieve this and the government sets out a framework that gives them the confidence to do it. In particular, the government must set out its priorities for the technologies and markets we need to develop and the steps it will take to help the UK succeed in them.'