The consultation document proposes a strategy designed to improve the country’s economy in the future and is based on ten pillars. Among these pillars are the commitment to boost investment in science, research and innovation; developing the skills of people; upgrading the UK’s infrastructure and delivering affordable energy and clean growth.
Our industrial strategy green paper seeks views on how we can support these emerging technologies, ensuring we drive growth and develop international partnerships across our world leading research, science and innovation sector.”
The government said it will spend up to £9 million on a competition to reduce the cost of energy storage, including electricity, thermal, and power-to-gas storage and up to £600,000 for feasibility studies for projects that can store energy on a large scale, for use when it’s needed. Up to £7.6 million will be available for advancing energy demand side response technologies that can help both private and public sector organisations reduce energy use in peak times.
Responding to the green paper general secretary of the trades union body, the TUC, Frances O’Grady said:“It’s good to see a strategy for pro-active government intervention to bring better jobs and higher living standards to every part of the UK. But it will take more than good intentions to succeed – it will need higher public investment, and a greater role for workers in decision-making.
“Businesses are more successful when workers are involved in taking decisions about their jobs. So the strategy must put the workforce at the centre of plans to improve productivity – starting with the Prime Minister’s promise to put workers on company boards. ”
Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said:”A modern Industrial Strategy will be a landmark opportunity to build a successful, modern economy as the foundation for a prosperous, fairer and more inclusive society.
“It must help fix the country’s productivity problems and remove the regional inequalities that have dogged our country for generations, having a positive impact on living standards, wages and the future opportunities of many people.”
James Sproule, director of policy at the Institute of Directors, said: “It’s encouraging that the Governments’ new industrial strategy takes a joined-up approach, with measures on skills, infrastructure and research designed to complement each other and support an agile, innovative economy. The UK has considerable strengths, but in areas like education, transport and our broadband network, improvements are needed to make sure the country is ready to meet the future.
“The emphasis on STEM skills, better careers advice and lifelong learning are all very welcome. As automation and an ageing population reshape the jobs market, there is a pressing need to make it easier for people of all ages to train and re-train flexibly. These are changes that will take time to take effect, so it is important that the Government seeks an immigration policy that avoids skills shortages, which would hold firms back.”
The consultation will close on 17th April 2017 and comments can be provided online, by email or by post.