Submission to Government’s Industrial Strategy Consultation
In its submission to the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Consultation, the Women’s Budget Group welcomes the government’s recognition that a modern industrial strategy is needed to deliver a ‘fairer society’. We believe that the priorities set out in the strategy could be achieved more easily if there was concerted action to address gender and other inequalities.
The key points of the submission include:
Social Infrastructure is Key
- The economy depends on both physical infrastructure such as roads and telecoms and social infrastructure such as health, education and care services, meaning that investment in both is critical.
- The continued issues of low productivity in the UK economy demonstrate the need for investment in education and training and we welcome the priority given to this in the Green Paper. Action to address the gender gap in technical and STEM subjects is critical in order to address the skills shortage in STEM and should be reflected in education and training policy.
Address Low Pay and Insecure Contracts
- At present the UK economy is characterised by inequality, low productivity and too many jobs that are low paid and insecure. The primary aim of a UK industrial strategy should be to create an economy that meets the needs of all UK residents and delivers greater equality, including gender equality. We call for the Government to address low pay, insecure contracts and workplace discrimination as part of its Industrial Strategy.
Assess Equality Impact
- Many of the objectives set out in the strategy could be achieved more easily if there was concerted action to address gender and other inequalities. Policy proposals may exacerbate existing inequalities unless action is taken to prevent this happening. A comprehensive Equality Impact Assessment is needed to ensure both that the Industrial Strategy meets its aims and that the Government fulfils its legal obligations under the Public Sector Equality Duty.
Read our response to the Government in full: Industrial Strategy WBG Response April 2017