Prime Minister Theresa May announced the strategy, designed to boost the post-Brexit UK economy, on Monday (23 January) and it was commended by the Environmental Services Association (ESA) who said the plan can help improve productivity in the UK.
While the Foodservice Packaging Association welcomed a strategy from the government, it felt the announcement was a little less praiseworthy.
FPA executive director Martin Kersh said: “On the surface the package appears to be a step in the right direction, however one can’t help but notice that industry isn’t falling over itself to praise it. On closer investigation we appear to be recapping existing programmes and funding streams and therefore its likely effectiveness in generating new growth in the economy must be questioned.
“That said business has to work with what it is given and so better for business to have a long term industrial strategy than not.
“The idea of sector wide deals in return for looser regulations is interesting and it would be good to see some flesh on this. Also if interest to us is improving Government procurement and this needs more clarification. If the strategy is successful in driving growth across the whole country then the hospitality and foodservice industries will most certainly benefit, however until we see greater detail it’s hard to know if this strategy goes far enough in securing the success of our economy during a time when it is most challenged.”
Mike Ridgway of the Consumer Packaging Manufacturers Alliance (CPMA) found the prime minister’s words encouraging. Ridgway believes the policies to help small businesses get access to funding and the development of cluster groups of industry around the country all indicated a support to business not seen for many years.
“Transport infrastructure investment , especially in the north, is long overdue and this together with increased focus on technical education will go towards helping the packaging industry and its customers develop further within the context of a rebalancing of the economy from south to north and from service to manufacturing industries.”
“This is an encouraging start to an Industrial Strategy and it is particularly welcome that it is based upon economic growth from small and medium sized localised industry,” concluded Ridgway.
Also looking from the viewpoint of manufacturing is the equally optimistic Terry Scuoler, chief executive, EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, who said the announcement, “sends a strong signal that industry’s calls for a modern, comprehensive and robust industrial strategy have not fallen on deaf ears.”
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