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Minister for Business and Industry addresses APMG/EEF Summer Reception

Minister for Business and Industry addresses APMG/EEF Summer Reception

25th July 2018

Senior figures from across the manufacturing sectors joined MPs and Peers for the APMG and EEF’s summer reception on Wednesday 11th July, 2018. Held on the House of Lords Terrace overlooking the Thames, guests were joined by a series of high-profile speakers, including Richard Harrington MP, Minister of State for Business and Industry.

Hosted by APMG Vice-Chair and former Minister, Baroness Burt of Solihull, the event allowed manufacturing leaders to discuss the current state of British manufacturing and the impact of Brexit with policy makers from across the political spectrum. In his keynote, Richard Harrington spoke frankly about the importance of securing a constructive relationship with the European Union and pledged to improve relationships with the private sector. He added that the forthcoming Government White Paper would also aim to provide certainty and frictionless trade following Britain’s withdrawal from the EU in March 2019.

“Business needs its representation in Government and there is a consensus in the House of Commons for a sensible Brexit which is acceptable to the largest number of people.” 

Richard Harrington MP

The Minister also spoke about his Department’s work on the Industrial Strategy, noting that it aimed to be the starting point for a “true partnership” between Government and Business that was industry-driven and with increased public responsibility for improving skills training, as well as increasing R&D spending.

The AMPG’s recent roundtable on 3D Printing forms a key part of the Group’s desire to engage with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on new technologies and finding solutions to the Government’s ‘Grand Challenges’.

Dr Hayaatun Sillem, Chief Executive at the Royal Academy of Engineering, focused on the need to facilitate a strong relationship between engineering and manufacturing. With the two sectors closely linked, Dr Sillem added that the success of the modern Industrial Strategy is dependent on employers having access to a highly-skilled, adaptive workforce. The RAE’s “This Is Engineering” programme forms a key part of this, with a campaign that aims to increase representation in the engineering sector by women and people from BAME backgrounds.

Finally, Dame Judith Hackitt, Chair of the EEF, then focussed on the vital importance of the skills pipeline and inspiring the next generation of people entering the manufacturing sector.

“We all need to work together to dispel stereotypes and make the case for engineering as a fun, challenging and rewarding career.”

Dame Judith Hackitt

Over the coming weeks, the AMPG will be undertaking further research into the impact of Brexit on the manufacturing sector, whilst the wider Industry, Technolgy and Industry team will be looking at the rise of new technologies on the wider economy, including the rise of automation and the increased role for creative and design skills in the manufacturing sector. 

More photographs of the event can be found here.


Summer Reception Speakers
(Right to Left) Dr Hayaatun Sillem, Dame Judith Hackitt, Baroness Burt, Richarding Harrington