Industrial Strategy to boost skills and training in UK

29 November, 2017, 01:03 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • Construction wins government backing for productivity boost

Each foundation is supported by a range of policies created to provide businesses with certainty and reassurance that the United Kingdom will continue to have a competitive edge, such as raising total R&D investment to 2.4 percent of GDP by 2027; increasing the rate of R&D tax credit to 12 percent; and investing £725 million in new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund programmes, "to capture the value of innovation".

The strategy sets Britain the challenges of being at the forefront of the artificial intelligence revolution, meeting the needs of ageing population, using "clean technology" and becoming a "world leader" in the movement of people and goods.

Theresa May said the blueprint would help to shape a stronger and fairer economy for decades. It was followed on Monday by £725m, much of it targeted on construction and life sciences.

The government said it will press ahead with a series of so-called sector deals covering life sciences, construction, artificial intelligence and automotive.

The new "Transforming food production: from farm to fork" programme aims to boost sustainable agricultural practices, by increasing incentives for producers to embrace innovative technologies and techniques.

"We are exporting our skills and knowledge worldwide, winning multimillion-pound contracts in wind and marine energy - if this industrial strategy fully supports these world-leading sectors, it can drive growth across all parts of the United Kingdom and create tens of thousands of high-value jobs".

"We now look forward to further detail on the sector deals between the pharmaceutical industry and government on the back of Sir John Bell's impressive Life Sciences Industrial Strategy", commented ABPI chief executive Mike Thompson.

Business secretary Greg Clark called the strategy "an unashamedly ambitious vision for the future of our country", arguing it will help address four "grand challenges" facing the UK.

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"We welcome the strategy's plan to champion apprenticeships, and in particular the announcement of new funding of £60m to support apprenticeship take-up by young people and poorer families from disadvantaged areas", she said.

It has pledged to support electric vehicles through a £400 million charging infrastructure investment and an extra £100 million to extend the plug-in auto grant.

The National Productivity Investment Fund will be increased to £31 billion, supporting investments in transport, housing and digital infrastructure, alongside driving more than £20 billion of investment in innovative and high potential businesses. The second pledges to ensure the United Kingdom maximises the benefits of "the global shift to clean growth".

The strategy adds, "Embedding AI across the United Kingdom will create thousands of good quality jobs and drive economic growth".

The paper also points to the new Bioeconomy Strategy, due early in 2018, which will "set out a framework for growth in the sector to develop new low-carbon bio-based products andprocesses".

Meanwhile, Dr Diana Montgomery, Chief Executive of the Construction Products Association, said: "The construction sector has great potential as a key enabler of United Kingdom economic growth, and given last week's downgrade from the OBR for United Kingdom productivity, this takes on a greater urgency". And it needs to give people clean air by speeding up the end of diesel vehicles.

Research and Development tax credit: The tax relief for companies which invest in R&D was increased in the Budget.

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