New UK Productivity Council could add £130bn worth of value to British goods

The UK suffers from a “serious and long-standing productivity gap” with Germany, the US, and France all currently having higher productivity rates

A new government-backed UK Productivity Council has been created to help start-ups and small businesses improve the country’s productivity rate – and could potentially unlock £100bn of gross value added (GVA) every year.

Backed by 13m in government seed funding to be phased out over three years, the council is private sector led and was proposed following work by UK business leaders, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), and the Institute of Directors (IoD).

The council will have an advisory board, a chief executive and a leadership team of around five people, be supported by up to 15 staff, and draw on the industry knowledge and expertise of business leaders who have contributed to date.

Among its proposed plans include:

  • Creating a single point of contract for businesses seeking help with productivity
  • Developing a number of benchmarking tools in conjunction with development partners, including Sage, to help aid productivity
  • Creating ‘productivity hubs’ to connect businesses with industry leaders in their area and see what measures work for other busineses
  • Creating regional, employer-led hubs to promote productivity through people
  • Using data and analytics to create evidence based policy

The UK currently suffers from a “serious and long-standing productivity gap” with Germany, the US, France and Italy all currently having higher productivity rates.

The announcement comes less than a week after Phillip Hammond’s announced the government’s plan to launch a £23bn National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF). 

Greg Clark, business secretary, said:

“Boosting productivity is a key part of this government’s industrial strategy, making sure the UK economy is fit for the future. That’s why last week we announced the £23bn National Productivity Investment Fund, including £13m for the new UK Productivity Council. I look forward to seeing the council’s work in helping companies to prosper and grow.”

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