Business leaders set out strategy to ‘seize the moment’

The CBI has published a new economic plan, which it claims will help the UK economy recover from Covid-19 and deliver a more inclusive country.

The Seize the Moment report identifies six ways to transform the economy after the pandemic to deliver a decade of better economic growth and social solidarity.

One key issue is to develop a regionally thriving economy, with every region and nation playing to their own comparative global strengths.

According to the report, this would be realised by a new commitment to scaling up local economic clusters such as renewables in the North East or advanced manufacturing in the West Midlands.

The report also calls for a more inclusive economy, where employers recruit more diverse talent from all corners of society and support employees with credible reskilling programmes.

In a speech accompanying the launch of the report, Tony Danker, CBI director-general, will argue that 2021 must be a turning point for UK economic policy.

He will add that failure to make bold changes now will result in a return to business as usual – the persistently low productivity and heightened social division that followed the 2008 financial crisis.

‘This country will never have a greater opportunity to transform our economy and society for the better than we have right now,’ Mr Danker is expected to say.

‘This is the moment where we have a genuine chance to make big bets on how the UK economy will grow and compete. To use that appetite to invest, to collaborate globally after a decade of protectionism.

‘To lift thousands of young people out of limbo, so they can reach their potential. And to build on that bond between employers and employees closer than ever before,’ he will add.

‘We have a grand plan for the whole nation. On the face of it, you might think that only some firms can benefit; we see prizes for everyone.

‘I know we have much to worry about in the short run. The Covid-19 crisis is far from over. It’s not easy for many trading in a new regime with the EU. Many firms have a lot of debt and uncertainty about the future. But we know from crises that new realities are shaped.’


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