EEF comments on the Cole Review of trade support

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Commenting on the Cole Review of trade support, Ms Lee Hopley, Chief Economist at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said:

“The UK critically needs to up its export performance to ensure stable and sustainable growth. Manufacturing has a key role to play in this but, as experience of the last few years has shown, increasing exports is not easy. The export target has come up for some criticism, and it is sensible to reassess it to ensure realism, as the Cole report recommends. But any replacement must maintain the principle of delivering focus to the government’s efforts on the export agenda to ensure actions are coordinated and cross-departmental

“The Cole Commission rightly takes a holistic approach, rather than narrowly looking at export support to also consider wider requirements such as the education pipeline, considering skills shortages and digital requirements. On this vein, recommendations to review the system of post-study work visas are particularly valuable as this will help ensure UK companies have access to the skills they require.”

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