The Metals Forum today announced a new strategy to revitalise Britain’s metals industry. It sets out the steps needed to boost sector innovation, create 150,000 new jobs and build a sustainable future for the industry. 'Vision 2030: The UK Metal’s Industry’s New Strategic Approach' calls for greater cross-sector collaboration to realise the industry’s true potential, adding value to the UK economy.
The new strategy proposes:
- A review of procurement policy with the aim of sourcing 50% of materials for new infrastructure projects locally by the end of 2016.
- Greater collaboration between Government and industry to boost agility and build fitter supply chains.
- New support initiatives for SMEs to help boost and manage risk in innovation through better collaboration.
- A new framework for encouraging talent into the industry, with a focus on improved training and raising awareness of apprenticeships for school leavers.
- Embedded environmental assessment in public procurement to drive towards a circular and more sustainable economy.
The UK metals industry plays a vital role in driving growth, employing 230,000 people directly, with a further 750,000 jobs being supported by the industry and 11,000 companies contribute £200bn worth of GDP to the economy. However, the sector is facing mounting challenges including long investment cycles, unpredictable government policies and a steep rise in imports to meet domestic demand, damaging UK competitiveness in the market place.
A single purpose is critical to ensure the sector’s value is captured in the UK and meet ambitions plans for new infrastructure projects in energy, transport, automation and aerospace.
Jon Bolton Chair, Metals Strategy Steering Group, said: “Bringing this diverse but valuable sector together under a single banner, working in partnership with the government and other key industrial sectors will ensure that greater economic value is extracted from planned infrastructure projects and future industrial expansion. The metals contribution to the UK economy should be grown substantially – securing a bright future for a sector that is the backbone of the UK economy.”