ICE welcomes the Government’s green paper, especially the focus on skills and infrastructure woven through it. Well-functioning infrastructure, good rates of investment and skilled people means higher levels of productivity.
ICE’s consultation response considers five of the 10 pillars: skills, infrastructure, energy, growth and institutions.
For our response we led three evidence-gathering workshops attended by ICE members and industry stakeholders. We were also involved with an online survey that attracted over 1,000 responses that provided valuable insights from industry
We consider the following to be key to delivering the Government’s new industrial strategy:
- Regional infrastructure pipelines should be developed to address skills gaps
Realising growth through infrastructure requires improved skills provision. To give a fuller picture of demand scenarios, regional infrastructure pipelines identifying upcoming projects and providing foresight on skills needs, should be put in place.
- Regional infrastructure strategies should be developed across the UK
In each region, stakeholder forums should develop cross-sector infrastructure strategies. The strategies should highlight challenges and benefits to provide investors with a degree of certainty. The Midlands Engine Strategy, with its partnership of stakeholders, provides a model.
- Digital delivery and smart infrastructure should become standard
Digital transformation is a cost-effective way of adding value. Traditional, physical additions generally add ‘more of the same’ whereas digital enhancements can transform them. The sharing of data between different infrastructure sectors is key to maximising performance and ensuring resilience.
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