A new Ipsos Captains of Industry study finds that industry leaders put encouraging investment in infrastructure at the top of their wish list, with 19% of industry leaders citing this as a policy they think should be included in the Government’s new industrial strategy. The second most important issue according to the Ipsos Captains is supporting or encouraging more training/skills development/apprenticeships, with 16% respondents referencing it as important. The other issues that the Captains identified were: support regional development/Northern powerhouse/regions outside London (13%), reduce or streamline regulation/clarity on regulation system/reduce bureaucracy (11%), support trade deals/encourage free trade/avoid trade tariffs (10%).
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The annual survey of FTSE 500 business leaders found that opinion on whether the Government’s new industrial strategy will help boost economic growth remains mixed. Just over a third of Captains (36%) strongly agree/agree that new industrial policies will effectively encourage economic growth in this country, however nearly half of those Captains interviewed (46%) are sitting on the fence and neither agree or disagree. 13% of respondents disagree.
Over the next 5 years, key growth opportunities for Captains business is expected to come from the following areas: Technology/ Digital (17%), Asia/China/India (14%), UK consumer confidence/ UK growth (13%), within Europe/new links to Europe (9%) and international expansion/exports (9%).
Ben Page, CEO of Ipsos said:
“Our Captains of Industry look hopeful that the Government’s new industrial strategy will help to encourage economic growth, but 46% of these business leaders are sitting on the fence until they see the policies in place. What is clear is that infrastructure and skills development need to be at the heart of any industrial policy.”
Technical NoteIpsos conducted 114 interviews with respondents from the top 500 companies by turnover and the top 100 by capital employed in the UK. Respondents were Chairmen, Chief Executive Officers, Managing Directors/Chief Operating Officers, Financial Directors or other executive board directors. Interviews were primarily carried out face to face (8 were carried out over the telephone) between September and December 2016.