A Manufacturing Council will be established by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) to support UK manufacturers.

The council will bring together dozens of CEOs from the UK’s top manufacturers – small, medium and large – and will be chaired by Tom Crotty, group director of Ineos.

The aim of the council is to shape the skills agenda to build a UK workforce fit to adapt to artificial intelligence and digitisation; build a new visionary industrial strategy that supports productivity; create pathways to the delivery of the UK’s target of 3% of GDP invested in R&D by 2020; and deliver a Brexit that works for the UK’s manufacturing base.


With manufacturing currently making up around 10% of the UK economy and accounting for over two-thirds of all UK spend on research and development, the CBI believes it is vital that manufacturer’s voices are heard.

CBI deputy director-general Carolyn Fairbairn said: “A strong and diverse UK manufacturing industry is the foundation of a robust economy. And with the global economy changing at a dizzying pace, it has never been more important that its voice is heard loud and clear. Building on our strengths in innovation, science and emerging technologies, the prize is to make the UK one of the greatest success stories of the next wave of global industrialisation.

“Our surveys show that UK manufacturers are on the march, with production and orders growing strongly, but with the challenges posed by Brexit, everything possible must be done to ensure they can stay ahead of the game. It is a time to build the confidence to invest and export, creating new high quality jobs across the country.”