Manufacturers 'need help to increase productivity'

The EEF have said that urgent action is needed to boost productivity in the UK's manufacturing sector

URGENT action is needed to boost productivity in manufacturing, according to a business group.

The EEF said manufacturing productivity in the UK grew by 4.7 per cent between 2000 and 2007 but has since "flatlined" at less than 1 per cent a year.

The manufacturers group called on the Government to create an Industrial Strategy Council.

Lee Hopley, chief economist at the EEF, said: "We've known about the productivity problem for some time, with various attempts made to try and fix it across the whole economy.

"Productivity growth matters for wages and international competitiveness, yet 10 years on from the start of the financial crisis these attempts have not delivered a major shift and we need to tackle the challenge in a different way.

"Manufacturing offers a good area to get gains on productivity growth.

"An Industrial Strategy Council should now be created urgently and put to task to identify how the overall strategy can improve productivity in those industrial sectors where it has lagged."

A Business Department spokesman said: "Britain has a proud manufacturing heritage and through our modern Industrial Strategy we are committed to growing our productivity and improving people's earning power.

"Our plans for the Made Smarter Commission, a joint government-industry body responsible for driving up manufacturing productivity, will be revealed in the coming weeks.

"We will also shortly set out details of the independent experts on the Industrial Strategy Council that will hold us to account delivering our ambitions."

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