Government’s Plan for GrowthGulistan Ladha
Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng today published a joint open letter to businesses on the Government’s Plan for Growth.
The Plan for Growth builds on the best of the Industrial Strategy from 2017 and supports the transition to net zero by 2050. It sets out the government’s path to invest in three pillars – infrastructure, skills, and innovation. The focus is creating and supporting jobs, helping to drive growth, and seizing opportunities from Britain’s independence. The Build Back Better Business Council has been convened to draw on the expertise of industry and government to ensure that the plan for growth is delivered successfully and in partnership with business. Today’s meeting will look at the innovation pillar and will discuss the government’s upcoming Innovation Strategy, due to be published in the Summer.
The government recognises that the UK has historically under-invested in infrastructure, and the National Infrastructure Strategy sets out the plan to address that. The government has also announced investment in broadband, flood defences, roads, rail and cities as part of its plans to spend £100 billion on capital next year and more than £600 billion on gross public sector investment over the next 5 years.
There is recognition that the UK has a strong foundation of advanced skills, but lags behind international comparators on technical and basic adult skills. Government plans to transform Further Education, encouraging lifelong learning through the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, and apprenticeships, are underway.
Earlier BSG reports have highlighted digital exclusion as a key issue. According to a BSG/Savanta ComRes report published in October 2020, around 3.6 million individuals – that is approximately 7% of the population – are almost completely offline, whilst 11.7 million lack the skills needed for everyday life.