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EEF sets out its manifesto for manufacturing

03 July, 2009

EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, has published a manifesto that sets out its vision for manufacturing being at the centre of a more diverse and durable UK economy, and recommends the creation of a new industrial bank and a National Economic Council to deliver the vision.

The EEF strategy document, called Manufacturing Our Future, calls for a more diverse, agile and innovative manufacturing sector. It plots a course for a stronger, and relatively larger, manufacturing sector which could solve future challenges and help the UK to pay its way in the world.

“Manufacturing must play a bigger role in our economy if we are to meet the challenges facing us over the next decade,” says EEF chief executive, Gilbert Toppin (above). “It can be a major player in addressing climate change and meeting our demographic and security challenges, as well as helping to claw back the twin deficits in the public sector and on trade.

“But this will only happen if our manufacturers show the ambition and make the investments needed to achieve this, and the government sets out a framework that gives them the confidence to do it,” he adds. “In particular, the government must set out its priorities for the technologies and markets we need to develop, and the steps it will take to help the UK succeed in them.”

EEF suggests that this must be backed with tangible policies and resources, including:
• a re-established industrial bank tasked with investing in the future;
• a £1bn innovation prize for commercialising low-carbon technologies;
• strategic use of procurement in new and emerging industries;
• progress on improving the business environment, specifically on the tax system, regulatory burden and skills infrastructure; and
• a more co-ordinated approach to expert guidance on economic challenges and responses through the National Economic Council.

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