Speaker: The Rt Hon. the Lord Henley, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
On the 27th November, the government published the long-awaited white paper on the UK’s industrial strategy. After a somewhat anxious budget forecasting cuts to economic growth and highlighting long-term productivity problems, the document is aimed at providing the reassurance that the government has the capability to enhance the UK’s industrial competitiveness. Based around four ‘grand challenges’ – artificial intelligence, clean growth, an ageing society, and the future of mobility – and highlighting multiple areas of focus, it has been widely welcomed among the UK business community, who feel like their concerns have been listened to.
Collaboration is very much the watchword of this strategy: policy will not be determined from Whitehall alone. Instead, government and industry will work in tandem, especially in the sectors of artificial intelligence, automotive, construction and life sciences, to put in place institutions and relationships that will help to sustain an increase in productivity over time, taking their lead from the global success of the aerospace and automotive industries.
We are delighted to be joined by Lord Henley, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, to talk us the finer points of the strategy, and its consequences for business. A hereditary peer and lifelong parliamentarian, Lord Henley’s career has seen him serve in a wider variety of roles and departments: he served as a Whip in the Thatcher administration, before spells as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department of Social Security and a Minister of State in the Department of Education and Employment. Prior to his role at BEIS, he was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for DEFRA in the Cameron government, and filled the same role at the Department of Work and Pensions under Theresa May.
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