Weekly Events Blog: June 21st - June 23rd | IPT

In the last week we held two virtual events that covered topics on manufacturing and regional investment. We were joined by a number of high profile speakers including Henri Murrison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership and Katherine Bennett CBE, chief executive of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

Rebalancing the UK: Regional Investment Post-COVID

On Monday 21 June, the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) hosted a virtual event between parliamentarians, industry representatives and academics entitled ‘Rebalancing the UK: Regional Investment Post-COVID.’ The discussion was chaired by Jo Gideon MP, PPS to Kwasi Kwarteng as Secretary of State for BEIS. The meeting welcomed guest speakers Henri Murrison, Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, Tom Joyner, Managing Director at CrossCountry and Dr Matt Beech, Reader in Politics, University of Hull. The discussion focused on levelling up skills, transport and investment across the UK.

Key discussion points:

  • There is a great skills gap across the country. Government and industry have a role to play in introducing relevant programmes to facilitate apprenticeships and other training schemes. Some universities are anchor institutions due to their history, they attract students but how can they local areas retain them when they’ve finished their studies and provide opportunities for the local economy?
  • Public transport reforms should be customer centric, working with mayors, local councils and a range of companies. Travel across the country should be equally valued rather than prioritising access to London and the South East.
  • Cities and towns from different ends of the country should not be competing for the same funding. Regional allocations, with local town bidding could help level up.

Tackling COVID: The UK Manufacturing Response

On Tuesday 22 June, the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) hosted a virtual event between parliamentarians and industry representatives entitled ‘Tackling COVID: The UK Manufacturing Response.’ The discussion was chaired by Mark Pawsey MP, Select Committee on Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and welcomed guest speakers Ruth Nic Aoidh, Executive Director of Purchasing, Commercial, Legal and Government Affairs, McLaren and Katherine Bennett CBE, Senior Vice-President, Airbus and CEO Designate, High Value Manufacturing Catapult. The discussion focused on the important role of manufacturing within the UK economy and how the sector has demonstrated its capabilities in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Key discussion points:

  • The need for collaboration throughout manufacturing and how the COVID-19 Pandemic has highlighted this. 2020 was the year of organisations worked together, individuals and companies across the UK aligning their goals in a ‘war-time effort’. 
  • UK manufacturing capabilities were in the media spotlight during the pandemic, this built a better reputation for UK production, creating opportunities to push UK manufacturing overseas and maintain competitiveness in global market. 
  • The importance of boosting collaboration between larger and smaller companies as well as utilising academics and researchers to strengthen the UK’s manufacturing infrastructure.