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There’s not a manufacturer out there who will deny there is a genuine need for a more coherent industrial strategy that cultivate ours strengths and enables us to compete globally.
The question is did we get one yesterday? I suppose time will tell, but there was certainly some elements of the plans that will be welcomed by our sector.
Increased funding to address actual skills needs of employers is certainly a positive and, as a collective that thrives on innovation, we would be big supporters of any scheme that unlocks academic excellence that industry can exploit.
Recognising the importance of removing barriers to finance, especially when it comes to capital equipment, could be a major step forward if delivered correctly.
Like most announcements there’s also a lot of unanswered questions. Will this be a long-term strategy that has cross party support, or will it simply be churlishly discarded when the next Government is sworn in?
Doing something to control escalating energy prices was noticeable by its absence and, again, Mr Cable seems to have missed the importance of specialist funding streams for SMEs to take advantage of.
The Regional Growth Fund is all well and good, but once again it’s about feeding the whims of the big boys. Surely it’s about time the supply chain has a fair chance to tap into targeted financial assistance to grow and create jobs?