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Manufacturing: Dick Olver calls for national policy and procurement 'growth test'

07 March 2012

BAE Systems’ chairman Dick Olver has called for the UK to apply a ‘growth test’ to every policy initiative and major procurement decision, “to help manufacturers punch their weight in a fiercely competitive world and continue their heritage of fantastic innovation.” He was addressing an audience at the Engineering Employers’ Federation's National Manufacturing Conference, which took place in London on Tuesday March 6.

Dick Olver
Dick Olver

Speaking alongside Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband and to an audience of over 500 representatives from UK manufacturing and engineering companies, government and trade bodies, Mr Olver challenged the widely-held view that the UK no longer manufactures, and asserted that an economic recovery without manufacturing was misguided.

He highlighted the need to continue to invest in skills and play to the UK’s strengths in engineering, cyber security and software, its legal system and utilising the continuing position of London as a financial hub.

Moving on to describe his vision of a ‘growth test’ Mr Olver said that this would mean asking: "In what way does this policy or decision contribute to national wealth creation and growth? If its effect is not to further these goals, then the government should review its position…with a view to changing it to one that does foster growth.”

For the full text of Dick Olver's speech at the EEF conference, click here.

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