John Williams' opinion piece sums up well the issues associated with turning the UK government's green paper on industrial strategy into reality. It also highlights the extent that change is needed.
John is right to focus on social inequality and the lack of social mobility as an underlying issue in the UK, but addressing that issue must be seen as a longer term aim. I wonder if he fundamentally underestimates the bond of community in blue collar areas?
Addressing broadband connectivity and focussing on educational and research funding are quicker wins, with a medium aim of encouraging blue collar children into new industrial focussed educational environments.
John also mentions long term funding for SMEs. The idea of creating a UK mittelstand in the 21st century should be given active consideration linked to fiscal incentives.
But most importantly, he emphasises the need for innovation. A UK that is not at the cutting edge of robotics and the internet of things is not going to keep its place in the world. The UK government's industrial strategy is as much about moving the UK into a post-industrial environment as it is about improving the lives of those who suffer from social inequality.
Industrial strategy needs a three-pillared approach to boost British productivity