Tackling COVID: The UK Manufacturing Response | IPT
Chair: Mark Pawsey MP, Select Committee on Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Speaker: Ruth Nic Aoid, Executive Director of Purchasing, Commercial, Legal and Government Affairs, McLaren
Speaker: Katherine Bennett, Senior Vice-President, Airbus UK
Virtual Event


Tuesday 22 June 2021


This is an online event

Start Time:


End Time:


The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted business productivity across the UK. When lockdown restrictions were first introduced in March 2020, many organisations experienced a sudden fall in demand and acted fast to repurpose production lines. With the Government issuing an urgent call for industry assistance, the UK manufacturing sector played a pivotal role in supporting the NHS by providing critical items such as ventilators, PPE and hand sanitiser. Ventilator Challenge UK brought together industrial, technology and engineering businesses from sectors including aerospace and automotive, to produce medical ventilators for COVID patients. Many manufacturers registered with the NHS Supply Chain to offer components for testing kits whilst some had to reconfigure their complex global supplier networks in response to surges in demand. The sector has shown unprecedented innovation and adaptability with many supply chains diverting their production lines in as little as 48 hours.  

This event will 

  • Consider the important role of manufacturing in the UK economy and how the sector has demonstrated its capabilities in response to a crisis 
  • Examine the use of digital technology in adapting to changes in production demand and how this can be sustained in future  
  • Discuss the lessons learned from the pandemic and how sectors can work together for the long-term development of the right skills and technologies