The government has finally realised that manufacturing has a critical role to play in building a better economy. But much of the government's recent support for the sector seems to mistake activity for activism.
You can see that in today’s announcements on Advanced Manufacturing. The £150m in support is nothing to blink at, but the lack the long-term strategic direction is disappointing.
What's more worrying is that continues a streak of short-termist, headline grabbing initiatives that, in total, does not provide industry the long-term certainty it needs about policy and funding priorities.
This package of measures exposes fundamental flaws in government approach to achieving this. Rather than concentrating scarce resources in areas that can make a real difference, today’s announcement continues the trait of smaller short term measures with no strategic targeting.
This scattergun approach is in danger of missing the mark and fails to put the government’s activist ambitions into practice.
Most manufacturers will struggle to see the bigger picture out of today’s announcement about the kind of industrial sector we want in the future.