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Skills should top the List in an Industrial Strategy

Respondents to the MEBC consultation on the Government’s proposed Industrial Strategy identified investment in technical skills as their priority with delivering affordable energy, improved infrastructure, and funding for R&D for science and innovation in the top four requirements.

While encouraging trade and investment was not rated as a priority for the Industrial Strategy Investment but a majority of respondents identified support with the development of new products and services as a priority for the sector.

The proposal to create a Strategy was welcomed by the majority of those responding, but many commented that more recognition should be given to the Environmental Goods and Services Sector (EGSS) as a contributor to the local economy, and the plan must also be tailored to allow greater support for smaller and start-up businesses.

These findings have been made available to the GBSLEP, which is preparing a report for Government, and will be reflected in a direct response to the consultation.  They have also been circulated to the Government’s Regional Champion, BEIS, our local MPs, the candidates in the forthcoming mayoral elections and the relevant representatives on the West Midlands Combined Authority.