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NEWS

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A N A LY S I S

Irwin Mitchell and CBI launch UK productivity campaign Improving productivity across the nation could add £208bn to the UK economy over the next decade

Above: Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General of the CBI, launching the report

B

ritain’s productivity level – which is much lower than

regions could significantly increase their productivity and,

other leading nations – could increase significantly if each

thus, their output, boosting the economy significantly.

geographic area of the UK would improve at the same rate

‘Raising productivity across all parts of the UK should

as the top performer in their respective region. This would

be the single most important domestic goal of the next five

boost the economy by hundreds of billions of pounds.

years,’ said Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General of the CBI.

Currently, the most productive area of the UK, London, is

This is a major priority for the UK Government: in

almost three times more productive than the least, Northern

his Autumn Statement last November, Chancellor Philip

Ireland. This matters for businesses because productivity

Hammond announced the launch of a £23bn National

leads to more sustainable growth, higher standards of living

Productivity Investment Fund, to tackle the problem with a

and greater competitiveness – both in the UK and abroad.

string of investments designed to improve output. I JH

The Chancellor has an obsession with productivity, but it’s a good obsession. We’re less productive than Italy. If you’re less productive than Italy, then you’re really in trouble – Simon Walker, Director-General of the Institute of Directors In other words: by boosting productivity, you can also boost

CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn will speak at a French Chamber

your bottom line.

Business Club event, sponsored by Irwin Mitchell, at the French Residence on

‘There are some significant challenges ahead, but if

24 January. Find out more on page 78 .

businesses and government can make it a priority and work closely together, then I genuinely believe that growth within our regions can be unlocked,’ said Victoria Brackett, CEO of

UK productivity (output per hour)

Business Legal Services and a Partner of Irwin Mitchell. The Unlocking Regional Growth report, which was launched in December at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry, has used special access to data from the Office for National Statistics to determine the four main drivers of regional productivity differences across the UK. These are: educational attainment of young people; transport links that widen access to labour; better management practices; and a higher proportion of firms that innovate and export. By tackling each of these areas individually, the UK’s

(Source: ONS)

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- january / february 2017 - 15

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