The UK economy is driven by London and the south-east, and by the financial sector. Too many parts of the country are in danger of being left behind – and the damage done by careless deindustrialisation in the 1980s still hasn’t been repaired. Meanwhile cuts to public spending have hollowed out the public services people rely on.
We need more good jobs in all regions and nations of the UK. That means switching to an investment-first economy, where delivering high productivity and skilled jobs with decent pay is the test of economic success. The government has to set out a strategy and long-term vision for British industry, to make the most of new opportunities in the high-tech and green industries of the future. That means companies interested in long-term sustainable growth that benefits everybody, and government support to help emerging sectors flourish.
Getting it right means developing the skills of today’s workers so they can navigate change. It means managing new technology and automation in the interests of workers so the rewards from work are fairly shared. And it means getting workers’ voices heard at the highest levels within their companies – including in the boardrooms.
An economy that works for working people is one where there are great jobs in all parts of the UK, and where the UK can fund the high-quality public services that we all need.
I work in high tech manufacturing with a world-leading firm, but these are challenging times for our sector. We want more support for collaborative research programs and an investment strategy to provide the quality, well paid jobs we’ll need for the future.