The IET reviews manufacturing and its report on four key ways of growing the manufacturing sector.
The manufacturing year in 2012 was dominated by talk of the need to create an industrial strategy. The IET produced a report outlining the four key pillars which form the basis of a successful industrial strategy, 'Engineering an industrial strategy'.
The debate started in March when the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable MP, found a copy of his letter to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, leaked to the press.
This letter suggested there was something important missing, "a compelling vision of where the country is heading beyond sorting out the fiscal mess." A view supported by the IET.
Lord Heseltine was commissioned to look at how private and public sector bodies could work better together to spur economic growth while BIS embarked on their own work in creating an industrial strategy.
Between Budget 2012 and the party conference season, several organisations published their version of what an industrial strategy should look like. The IET was concerned that the debate was heading in the wrong direction; in particular that policy was being set before strategy.
Our report sets out four key pillars:
• A comprehensive and defined strategic vision of the challenges the Government is seeking to resolve, along with a set of strategic objectives or themes which will help to develop solutions. A strategy should be developed before industrial policy decisions are taken.
• This strategic vision should be backed up by sound and accessible analysis, so that all actors can take decisions based on the facts.
• A long term approach should be taken, with milestones to serve as review points. At these points industry and government can assess next steps.
• The strategy should be embedded across all of government with clear accountability for review and delivery provided.
Over the course of 2013, we will be using these pillars as a guide to help shape the debate and drive the development of a strong industrial strategy for the UK.