Policy Connect: Manufacturing Commission Launch Event

Today, the Manufacturing Commission convened a high-profile launch event at the House of Lords to present their latest report, "Upskilling Industry: Manufacturing Productivity and Growth in England."

Chaired by Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea, President of the Confederation of British Industry, the event brought together policymakers, industry leaders, and education experts to discuss strategies for tackling skills gaps limiting productivity and growth in manufacturing.

The report stresses the urgent need for collaborative action between government, businesses, and education providers to upskill the manufacturing workforce. Recommendations include:

  • Incentivizing SMEs to offer T-Levels and host Skills Bootcamps
  • Allowing more flexibility in using Apprenticeship Levy funds
  • Launching a campaign to increase diversity and get more women into manufacturing roles
  • Appointing a manufacturing ‘Champion’ to promote the sector in schools

Lord Bilimoria emphasized these targeted proposals aim to help firms effectively engage with the reformed skills system and secure the talent pipelines crucial for productivity.

The launch event featured a panel discussion between representatives of the report’s sponsors. Andrew Everett, Chief Executive of the ERA Foundation, shared insights on the challenges businesses face due to skills shortages and potential solutions.

Other panellists included Professor Carl Perrin of Coventry University, Jack Semple of the Engineering and Machinery Alliance, Professor Robin Clark of Warwick Manufacturing Group, and Richard Jenkins of Lloyds Banking Group.

There was broad agreement on the need for collaborative action between industry, government, and education providers to equip the workforce with the skills needed for the future.

The Manufacturing Commission’s evidence-based recommendations provide policymakers from all parties with clear advice on navigating recent skills reforms and delivering the talent pipeline manufacturing urgently needs.

About Policy Connect

Policy Connect is an independent, cross-party think tank bridging the gap between Westminster, Whitehall, academia, business, and civil society to shape public policy.

Their work focuses on five key policy areas: Education and skills; Industry, Technology, and innovation; Sustainability; Health; and Assistive & Accessible Technology.

As a social enterprise, Policy Connect is funded through memberships and sponsorships. They aim to improve people’s lives through impactful policy research, events, and bringing together stakeholders across sectors to collaborate on solutions.

The Manufacturing Commission that produced this report is run by Policy Connect’s Industry, Technology and Innovation team. The Commission convenes manufacturing, parliament, and academia leaders to undertake research and recommend UK manufacturing policy.