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Strengthening UK manufacturing supply chains

On the 26th February 2015 the Department of Business Innovation & Skills published this report which is described as: -

"An action plan for government and industry"

Here is an extract from the Executive Summary: -

"There is no single solution and a range of options and actions are required to address the needs of UK supply chain companies, to enable them to compete and grow and meet the needs of world class manufacturing companies. Hence government and industry will take action together across a number of areas:

• On innovation, the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult is committing to increase the number of SMEs it engages with annually by 50 per cent and double the amount of collaborative R&D accessed by SMEs in five years. The Business Growth Service and Innovate UK will also put in place clearer co-ordination and signposting to help firms access the innovation support they need

• On skills, we are asking large employers to do more to support the skills of their supply chain companies

• On finance, action through the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill (SBEE) currently before Parliament will require large companies to report on their payment practices, and remove barriers to invoice finance. We will also tackle unfair practices such as charging to stay on supplier lists, as well as working with the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) to tackle issues relating to performance bonds

• On SME capability, we will assess the suitability of the BenchmarkIndex® to support supply chain development in a “fit to supply” pilot project and work with the Business Growth Service to improve the effectiveness and raise awareness of its supplier sourcing and matching offer

• On collaboration, EEF will run a series of regional workshops to share best practice between sectors on a range of supply chain competitiveness issues, and the CBI will launch a dedicated UK Supply Chains section on their website. Government will also expand the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) and learn lessons from successful public procurements to improve opportunities for UK suppliers

• To support supplier resilience, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) will seek to ensure suppliers throughout the UK have increased access to the export opportunities available under the High Value Opportunity (HVO) programme, and will discuss further steps on international trade and investment with all the private sector-led industry councils.

Now is the right time to act. Global dynamics mean that firms are increasingly reappraising supply chain locations. We have a window of opportunity here, and with the right actions to support supply chain growth, the UK can capitalise on this to succeed.

While this will take time, getting there could bring significant benefits to the UK economy. Government and industry need continued dialogue to identify what more should be done. This plan is intended to galvanise that process by setting out where further action is needed, both now and in the future, to boost the competitiveness of our manufacturing supply chain companies."


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