The North West Business Leadership Team has today called on the Greater Manchester Mayoral candidates to shape the national industrial strategy so that it fully embraces digital and the new technologies emerging across the region. It has hosted a series of meetings with mayoral candidates and policy makers in March and April to press the case for making the most of devolution and the new city mayoralties. Canvassing views from its membership, the NWBLT industrial strategy priorities for Greater Manchester include:
• boosting local skills – especially tech and digital skills – so that young people leaving full time education are prepared to embrace new technologies that are transforming the world of work.
• A coherent strategy for the technologies that are likely to take off in Greater Manchester – including advanced materials, AI, big data and digital design.
• A coherent businesses and investment strategy that encourages inward investment and exports, with a clear 100 day plan in place from May 6th.
• Robust infrastructure across the region, quickening the road and rail investments required to create strong growth across Greater Manchester and beyond.
The North West Business Leadership Team’s membership consists of businesses in manufacturing, services, utilities and professional services as well as its leading universities. Since 2013 the grouping has extensively called for greater regional investment in critical assets as well making the case for stronger devolution through a series of white papers and close cooperation with regional stakeholders.
Emma Degg, CEO of the NWBLT said “The last 20 years are testament to the good things that can be achieved when businesses and local government work closely together. Devolution provides a real opportunity to develop effective place-based solutions that will ensure Greater Manchester continues to be a great place to do business. In particular a commitment to making the city region a digital frontrunner, will help to deliver strong future growth. Importantly, we must also work together to ensure all our young people have the skills needed to make the most of the opportunities that will arise from this. The new Mayor should do that whilst taking the best from industrial strategy, harnessing it to get the best deal for the region”.
Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens UK and Chair of the NWBLT added “Greater Manchester has an exciting future in the tech, digital and manufacturing spaces. It is a already a global city capable of attracting big investments and creating highly skilled jobs. The city region must get to work on a longer term strategy to attract new and support existing industrial businesses, especially looking at the opportunities arising from the faster adoption of industrial digital technologies like artificial intelligence and additive manufacturing. That’s been a clear message from us to all candidates and policy makers in the region, for quite some time.”