‘Makers’ Manifesto’ demands less squabbling, more vision from parties
13 Nov 2019
Manufacturers are calling on Britain’s political parties to focus on delivering their vision for the future UK economy in the run-up to the General Election.
Industry body Make UK has taken the lead with the publication of a ‘Makers’ Manifesto’ to concentrate politicians’ minds on framing policy for the post-Brexit era.
Make UK chief executive, Stephen Phipson, said:
“The last few years have been largely wasted. Beyond the immediacy of a sensible agreement with the EU, we need to move on quickly and ensure Government works with industry to deliver a better balanced economy and sustained growth. Manufacturing will be central to delivering this and addressing the major societal and technological challenges we face.
“Some important groundwork has been laid through the industrial strategy. It is now vital the next government, however it is made up, commits to immediate policies which will ensure the UK remains an attractive place to do business, encourage growth, boost private sector investment and job creation.”
He warned that the priority for the next Government must be an agreement with the EU approved by Parliament that removes the threat of no deal.
What the public and business want to see is not the narrow-minded, blame-driven politics we have witnessed in the last few years but a grown-up vision of where we are going as a country and, an economy
Stephen Phipson, chief executive, Make UK
Phipson added this must ensure four key outcomes of frictionless trade, regulatory alignment, access to labour and a lengthy transition to allow business to adapt.
“Beyond that, what the public and business want to see is not the narrow-minded, blame-driven politics we have witnessed in the last few years but a grown-up vision of where we are going as a country and, an economy,” stated Phipson.
“They want see pledges that will support the creation of the skilled jobs we need, equip their children with the education and skills for the future and anchor value creating businesses in the UK. In short they want to hear what the big picture is for very critical issues in a world that is facing rapid technological and social change.
Make UK’s document Backing Manufacturers, The Makers Manifesto includes a list of 15 priorities it says that manufacturers need to see addressed.
Among the elements are reform of the Apprenticeship levy, a simplified visa process and immigration policy that boosts skills. Sustainable STEM funding and credible vocational routes to careers are also priorities says the organisation.
Regulatory updates, reformed business rates and cuts to energy costs for energy intensive sectors also feature, alongside a call for more investment and support for infrastructure, innovation and economic devolution.