date: Monday 11 August 2003
embargo: 00:01hrs Tuesday 12 August 2003
British business is stuck in a low-road rut, under-investing and competing only by driving down costs and prices. It is governments job to ignore the red-tape whingers and act to lift the UK onto a high-road economy, in which innovative businesses with well trained and highly skilled staff, provide quality products and services.
In its response to Professor Michael Porters UK Competitiveness report, commissioned by the DTI, the TUC agrees with the prediction that UK business is building on sand by fighting to do things cheapest and risking constant under-cutting at home and abroad, instead of embracing the knowledge economy. The TUC also welcomes Prof Porters demolishing of the business lobbys red-tape whinging with the fact that the UK has the most unregulated economy among our competitors.
Yet UK competitiveness fails to set out how UK business can get out of this precarious position, in particular, what the government can do. The TUC believe that due both to the weak standard of management Porter identified and businesses conservative record, fundamental change will not happen without government pressure. Further, the environment Porter believes business needs to operate in will not appear spontaneously, the government has to help create it.
Brendan Barber, TUC General Secretary, said:
'Business is building on sand and the tide is coming in. The UK cannot compete for much longer with a strategy of building cheap things cheaper. The government are going to have to get on with the job while business remains pre-occupied with whinging about imaginary red-tape.
'The UK needs a high quality business environment and the government can start building it now with a number of productivity-driven interventions. A knowledge economy will thrive with a well paid and highly skilled workforce, achieved through a higher minimum wage and a properly co-ordinated and used skills training system. But only effective informing and consulting generates the employee trust and empowerment vital to a high performance workplace.'
Shifting to the high road - summary:
Notes to Editors:
A full copy of Shifting to the high road is available at here.
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Press release (700 words) issued 12 Aug 2003
This page http://www.tuc.org.uk/industrial/tuc-6957-f0.cfm
printed 19 May 2013 at 01:08 hrs by 126.96.36.199