The CBI is calling for a new industrial strategy to ensure the UK remains globally competitive after its ties with the European Union are severed.
The lobbying group said it was imperative a deal was done with the EU to support future trade, investment and skills and it warned of “significant implications” if no deal could be reached.
In its response to the UK Government’s green paper on industrial strategy, the CBI set out a detailed six point plan it said “will allow the UK to address its weaknesses and build on its strengths.”
One particular weakness identified was UK productivity, which lags major competitors like the US and Germany by more than 20% and which is subject to significant regional variations.
The group’s UK2030 long-term vision includes a commitment to raise productivity generally and reduce the regional gap by 15 percentage points over the coming decade.
“The UK is at the foothills of extraordinary change as we look to redefine our role in the world and adapt to rapid technological advances in the workplace,” CBI director general, Carolyn Fairbairn, said.
“A new Industrial Strategy must aim to make the UK economy the most competitive in the world by 2030.
“We must build on our leading knowledge base, drive a renaissance in our traditional heartlands of manufacturing and create a new wave of entrepreneurship by making the UK the easiest place to start and grow a business.
“By doing this we can raise productivity and improve lives in every community up and down the country.
“This vision should not be created solely by business, nor by Government.
“It must be created and owned by business, government and society together.”
The CBI strategy centres on improving infrastructure, enabling innovation, empowering the UK regions, and “light touch” sectoral strategies.
All facets of the strategy are to be underpinned by robust performance indicators which will allow improvements in the economy to be measured.
Ms Fairbairn said it was important that progress was identifiable.
“The success of the Industrial Strategy must be determined by how it performs in raising people’s wages, creating jobs and delivering a wider distribution of economic activity across the UK.
“An independent body should be established to measure progress against real targets and identify where improvements are needed.”