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Prime Minister unveils new industrial strategy

News   •   Jan 23, 2017 16:00 GMT

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, will today launch the government’s proposals for a Modern Industrial Strategy in an effort to drive growth across the country.

Infrastructure, broadband and energy will see huge investment to help Britain thrive in a post-Brexit world.

The new strategy will be unveiled at the Prime Minister’s first regional cabinet meeting and will spell out the need for a “hive of new industries that will challenge the companies and industries of today”.

As part of an effort to “better align central government infrastructure investment with local growth priorities” Infrastructure investment will see a focus on digital, energy, transport, water and flood defence.

In an effort to boost skills across the country, the government will invest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), digital skills and numeracy, the government will build a new system of technical education aimed at those young people who don’t end up going to university.

The strategy has set out ten points of action:

Investing in science, research and innovation

Developing skills

Upgrading infrastructure

Supporting businesses to start and grow

Improving procurement

Encouraging trade and inward investment policy

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

Smart energy technologies; robotics and artificial intelligence and 5G mobile network technology are highlighted within the green paper as technologies where Britain has strengths in research and development which could benefit through the government’s new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

The fund is part of £4.7Bn of additional R&D funding announced by the Prime Minister in November – the largest increase in any parliament since 1979.

The government will also announce a £556M investment for the Northern Powerhouse in effort to stimulate economic growth and create jobs with Goole Intermodal Terminal linking rail, sea and road, a 21st century conference centre in Blackpool, and a new innovation fund for Manchester and Cheshire businesses amongst the projects to benefit over the next few years.

Prime Minister, Theresa May, said: “The Modern Industrial Strategy will back Britain for the long term: creating the conditions where successful businesses can emerge and grow, and backing them to invest in the long-term future of our country.

“It will be underpinned by a new approach to government, not just stepping back but stepping up to a new, active role that backs business and ensures more people in all corners of the country share in the benefits of its success.”

Ann Francke, Chief Executive of the Chartered Management Institute, welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement. She said: “I welcome Theresa May’s announcement today, recognising the need to invest in the digital, management and engineering skills the UK needs to flourish as a global leader in the 4th Industrial Revolution.

“This is an opportunity for the UK to take a global lead and show what responsible capitalism can deliver. This is all the more important given the recent insular, protectionist announcements from President Trump.

“Alongside investing in infrastructure, it’s essential we challenge the UK to accept the value of technical, high level apprenticeships. Unless we can overcome “apprenticeship snobbery” and invest in practical routes that can lead right to the top we won’t boost productivity and create the new, dynamic industries that will set the UK apart.”

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