Commenting on the industrial strategy green paper launched yesterday, Stephen Cooper, head of industrial manufacturing at KPMG UK, said: “UK manufacturers will view Mrs May’s proposals as a long awaited and much needed step towards a consistent approach to help Britain’s economy adjust and succeed post-Brexit. It is encouraging to see the government welcoming industry views and expertise to drive this strategy forward.

“We work with organisations in the automotive and aerospace sectors, such as the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and ADS, who recognise the importance of collaborating with government, and this approach has seen success. As the boundaries between traditional sectors start to blur due to advances in technology, it’s essential for industry to embrace this open relationship with government.

“Investment in infrastructure, additional access to finance and increased support from government to address access to talent through STEM funding are all positives, however, how the skills challenge will be managed in the short-term remains to be seen. These are all key areas that need to focused on if Britain is to remain competitive and as a good location for foreign direct investment. 

“Every manufacturer is thinking about digitalisation and advancing technologies, and the proposed R&D funding and support in science, research and innovation is critical for industry to operate effectively in the future. This announcement certainly takes us a step forward.”