The UK’s newly announced Industrial Strategy, launched on 27 November is radically different from the consultation document first seen back in January.
The original document listed ‘ten pillars’ for what it saw as necessary to successfully grow the economy. While these included proposals such as ‘Encouraging trade and inward investment’ and ‘Upgrading infrastructure’, EFS argued that ‘People’ needed to be central to the Strategy rather than merely tangentially referenced.
Ten months and 2000 responses to that document later – including the comprehensive response from Engage for Success – and the Strategy looks very different. It is now based on “Five Foundations of Productivity”, one of these Foundations being ‘People’.
The Strategy acknowledges the importance of creating quality jobs with greater earning power, so the very language that is now used is all about employees being in a working environment that is satisfying and rewarding, key to a creating a highly engaged workforce.
Our response also drew attention to the low productivity levels in the UK, and argued that businesses needed to:
- encourage the creation of sustainable competitive advantage and automation; and secondly
- encourage focus on both the skill and the will of employees through increasing levels of employee engagement.
EFS is delighted that the Strategy has now placed a heavy emphasis on new technologies, ensuring the workforce has the skills to lead the world with these technologies and with jobs that don’t simply see a “workforce” – but recognising individual people.
We would like to see the Industrial Strategy go further toward recognising that the ‘will’ of the people is just as important as their skill, and we will continue to work directly with Government, and with our colleagues at the CBI, CIPD, TUC, RSA and other bodies to ensure that a human centred approach is taken as the Strategy is implemented.