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Make UK CEO Urges Political Parties to Commit to Industrial Strategy Targeting 15% of UK GDP

by Anna

In a speech at the Make UK National Manufacturing Conference, CEO Stephen Phipson calls for all political parties to embrace an industrial strategy with a clear target for the manufacturing sector to contribute 15% to the UK GDP. Phipson outlines five key priorities for the next Government, emphasizing the need for a fundamental review of defense policy and procurement policies favoring the UK’s defense manufacturing sector.

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Addressing the lack of a long-term industrial strategy, Phipson stresses the importance of cross-party consensus to tackle regional inequality and enhance global competitiveness. He urges political parties to commit to growing the manufacturing contribution to GDP from 10% to 15%, potentially adding £150 billion to the economy.

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Phipson calls for a review of defense policy and procurement in light of ongoing global challenges, advocating for increased defense spending and a reassessment of the two percent spending target. Additionally, he calls on the Chancellor to announce the end of annual fiscal statements, proposing tax and spend policies to be outlined at the beginning of each Parliament for greater business stability.

Infrastructure spending is highlighted as a priority, with Phipson urging the next Government to match the OECD average and overhaul the planning system. He emphasizes the need to double down on policies related to net zero and energy security, calling for policy certainty to maximize opportunities in a net-zero economy.

The CEO stresses the importance of a skills revolution, advocating for substantial reforms of the Apprentice Levy and a comprehensive review of the vocational skills system. Phipson emphasizes the need for a constant pipeline of talent to support the expansion of the manufacturing sector.

In conclusion, Phipson calls for political and policy stability, criticizing the frequent changes in leadership and reorganization within government departments responsible for industry. He stresses the importance of long-term planning and policy stability to create a conducive environment for businesses and attract investments.

The speech underscores the CEO’s vision for a robust industrial strategy, political stability, and targeted policies to drive economic growth and competitiveness in the manufacturing sector.

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