The Government’s Industrial Strategy Explained

December 12 2017 0comment

The Government’s Industrial Strategy Explained

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On 27th November the UK government published a white paper setting out a long term plan to boost both the productivity and the earning power of the population of Britain which is known as the Industrial Strategy: building a Britain fit for the future.  The Industrial Strategy aims to make the UK the world’s most innovative nation by the year 2030 and has committed to “Sector Deals” for construction, artificial intelligence (AI), automotive and life sciences to help these sectors grow and equip British businesses for future opportunities.  Theresa May, the Prime Minister, promoted the launch of the Industrial Strategy, claiming that Britain needs to set out a new path for itself as we prepare the leave the European Union and create the conditions required for successful businesses to emerge and grow, while ensuring that the UK’s young people leave education with the skills necessary to take on the type of high-skilled, high paid jobs that are likely to be created in the future.

The Strategy main focus is on five key foundations of productivity:

  • People
  • Ideas
  • Business Environment
  • Infrastructure
  • Places

The Industrial Strategy is being administered by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which brings together responsibilities for business, industrial strategy, science, innovation, energy and climate change (which is real, by the way, despite what you may have heard from across the Pond).   BEIS is a ministerial department supported by 46 agencies and public bodies and is responsible for:

  • Developing and delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy and leading the UK government’s relationship with business in the UK.
  • Making sure that the UK has adequate secure and reliable energy supplies that are both clean (environmentally friendly) and affordable.
  • Making sure that Britain retains its place at the leading edge of science, research and innovation.
  • Tackling climate change through a range of measures.

The government has pledged to create a watchdog that will monitor progress in the innovation and the increasing level of workplace skills that the Industrial Strategy was designed to promote.  In order to make sure that young people are in a position to make an informed career choice, the performance measures used by schools and colleges will be updated to take into account the new T-level qualifications.  T-levels are the new technical qualifications which have been created to help simplify the process of technical vocational training in the UK.

This is good news for the construction industry as a whole and for the roofing industry in particular.  Right now, the government is set on investing in education in order to address the skills shortage which is particularly prevalent in the construction industry.  With the government encouraging employers, industry leaders and educators to get involved in the process, with calls for construction industry professionals to consider delivering some of the educational activities that are necessary for T-levels to be a success.  We will be able to contribute to a better, brighter future for Britain, despite the doom and gloom that is apparent as we prepare to leave the European Union.

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