BAE Systems helped develop the Productivity through People executive education programme for SME leaders. © 2019 BAE Systems
BAE Systems helped develop the Productivity through People executive education programme for SME leaders. © 2019 BAE Systems

Firms to work with suppliers to raise UK productivity

14 November 2019

Large companies including Amazon and Rolls-Royce have pledged to work with suppliers to tackle the UK's productivity crisis.

A group of 23 firms have signed up to a national campaign Business Leadership for a Better Decade to boost productivity levels and “turbocharge competitiveness in every region and every sector of the economy”.

According to Be the Business, the organisation behind the campaign, productivity is a “long-standing problem” in the UK, with an annual average growth rate of only 0.2% since 2008.

Tony Danker, CEO at Be the Business, said: “We want every business in the country to get involved – regardless of size. Put productivity and competitiveness top of the list for 2020 in your own firm, your supply chain, your customer base and your region. 

“This is in our hands and it is the only way to get the economy firing on all cylinders.”

2017 report, by campaigning industry leaders the Productivity Leadership Group, which laid the foundations for the Be the Business campaign, found that even a modest improvement in productivity could deliver a boost of £130bn to the UK economy each year.

Businesses are tackling the productivity crisis through initiatives that include partnering with suppliers to provide support and resources, including leadership programmes for SME leaders, tools to help increase the use of technology, and a network of senior executive mentors for small businesses. 

The 23 firms will reveal commitments at today’s launch of the Business Leadership for a Better Decade campaign, where 100 chairs and CEOs of companies are expected to attend.

A number of the firms, including Amazon, Cisco, EY, Salesforce and McKinsey & Company, will support suppliers with the adoption of technology and the development towards a digitally skilled workforce.

Lord Blackwell, chairman at Lloyds Banking Group, one of the signatories, said: “Lloyds Banking Group is committed to using its strong relationships with businesses of all sizes to assist them in addressing their individual opportunities for productivity growth, tapping into the wealth of skills, research and support available to them.”

The businesses that have announced commitments are: Accenture, Amazon, Aviva, BAE Systems, British Land, Cisco, Deloitte, EY, Grant Thornton, KPMG, GlaxoSmithKline, John Lewis Partnership, Landsec, Lloyds Banking Group, McKinsey & Co, Moneypenny, News UK, Rolls-Royce, Royal Bank of Scotland,, Santander, Severn Trent and Siemens.

Sir Roger Carr, chairman at BAE Systems, said: “BAE Systems is a founder member of Be the Business and instrumental in developing Productivity through People, an executive education programme designed specifically for SME leaders.”

The Business Leadership for a Better Decade campaign has been funded by the government and private companies.

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