BSRIA has welcomed the Prime Minister’s Industrial Strategy for the post-Brexit economy when she set out her ideas on “boosting support for industry” and “government stepping up to a new active role”.
Julia Evans, BSRIA Chief Executive, said: “The Prime Minister has included energy in a bid to align central government infrastructure investment with local growth priorities which is seen as good news by BSRIA, members and industry alike. Her promise to ‘take action’ for British Industry by unveiling a new, more interventionist, industrial strategy is also positive.
“It is especially heartening to hear that the Prime Minister also aims to boost STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills, digital skills and numeracy, including extending specialist maths schools, with £170m being invested in creating a new string of Institutes of Technology in England and Wales, taking students from age 16 to 19, also known as ‘builders’ universities’. The UK has some of the best universities in the world but students and the ‘workforce of tomorrow’ have had fewer alternatives to learn practical skills. Clearly, engineering, technical and hands-on skills are crucial for our industry to address the ever increasing skills shortage. And build the houses the country needs.
“And it is particularly encouraging that the new strategy was launched at her first regional cabinet meeting, held in the north-west of England. Removing regional inequalities is also an encouraging step: indeed BSRIA’s northern operation was opened a year ago to address this.”
It is understood that the Prime Minister will also announce a further £56m investment in the Northern Powerhouse, including a new innovation fund for businesses in Manchester and Cheshire.
The Prime Minister will also ensure every city has a designated free school for 11 to 18-year-olds acting as a specialist centre of learning for maths, in an attempt to remedy the shortage of graduates in the subject.
A green paper will set out ways the government can provide assistance to business by addressing skills development.
The 10-point plan involves:
- Investing in science, research and innovation.
- Developing skills.
- Upgrading infrastructure.
- Supporting business to start and grow.
- Improving government procurement.
- Encouraging trade and inward investment.
- Delivering affordable energy and clean growth.
- Cultivating world-leading sectors.
- Driving growth across the whole country.
Creating the right institutions to bring together sectors and places.