The largest manufacturing employers’ association in the UK has called on the establishment of the Industrial Strategy Council to boost productivity in the sector.
EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, wants to see clear goals set so that growth can be increased.
It comes amidst findings from the association which show that manufacturing productivity is well down on what the sector experienced 10 years ago; between 2000 and 2007, manufacturing grew by 4.7% a year.
However, since 2008, this figure is less than 1% per annum.
Other findings showed that before 2008 and the financial crisis that engulfed a whole host of industry as well as manufacturing, productivity was boosted by sectors all across the manufacturing spectrum.
However, since then, the EEF says there has been “significant divergence across sectors.”
Recent figures regarding output suggest that the manufacturing industry is performing. However, in comparison to historical figures, that does not seem to be the case and Lee Hopley, Chief Economist at EEF, believes a focused policy is required if the sector is to buck the flat-lining trend seen since 2008.
“We’ve known about the productivity problem for some time with various attempts made to try and fix it across the whole economy.
“Productivity growth matters for wages and international competitiveness, yet 10 years on from the start of the financial crisis, these attempts have not delivered a major shift and we need to tackle the challenge in a different way.
“Manufacturing offers a good area to get gains on productivity growth. The Industrial Strategy Council should now be created urgently and put to task to identify how the overall strategy can improve productivity in those industrial sectors where it has lagged.”
As well as the Industrial Strategy Council, EEF has called for additional measures to be implemented as part of the industrial strategy before the summer recess of Parliament.
These include clarity around sector deals; effective local industrial strategies; and publication a White Paper committed to strategy for export promotion.