Blue-chip engineering companies are being recruited to help lead a government campaign to boost competitiveness in UK industry, due to be launched in November.
The campaign, called Fit for the Future, will aim to get smaller firms from every sector to carry out benchmarking exercises designed to highlight shortcomings and prompt investment.
About 40 large UK companies will be involved, with many likely to be offering ‘mentoring’ services to help smaller players boost performance a technique that has worked in the US.
One DTI insider said that while the Foresight programme is aimed at long-term changes in British industry, ‘Fit for the Future is about the nitty gritty of effecting change within the next two to three years.’
Government funding for the project could be up to £1m a year.