Manufacturing the Future

James O Jenkins

At a time of tremendous change in the global and national political and economic landscape, Sir Terry Morgan reflects on the four priorities for the UK government’s emerging Industrial Strategy.

“The government’s intention to have an industrial strategy couldn’t be better timed and is exactly what we need to do”.

Firstly, Sir Terry recognises the continued development, implementation and commercialisation of technology as a prerequisite to productivity improvements and economic growth. The High Value Manufacturing Catapult provides an essential and very successful offer to industry to bring technology innovation to market.

The HVM Catapult works and delivers solid economic results. We should build on this and have more of the same successful formula.

Secondly, equipping talented young people with the right technology skills for the future is key to having the quality workforce that will convince industry to invest in this country. Apprenticeships are a highly effective and important mechanism in this context.

Thirdly, the opportunities of the fourth Industrial Revolution – 4IR – and digital manufacturing are manifold and if government can help create the right environment for innovation and technology to thrive in the UK, we can play a leading role in 4IR.

Finally, investment in large-scale capital projects can be a catalyst for skills development, building capacity and capability and learning invaluable lessons for the future.

Although there is no room for complacency, the UK is home to an abundance of manufacturing excellence and we have good reason to have confidence in our future.

Anyone with a passion for manufacturing and engineering has a role to play in shaping the future for UK industry.

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