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COVID-19: Business Secretary launches working groups to help unleash Britain's growth potential Published Date: 08/06/2020

Beginning this week (w/c 8 June), Mr Sharma will chair the first meetings of new ‘recovery roundtables’ bringing together businesses, business representative groups and leading academics. They will consider measures to support economic recovery and ensure we have the right skills and opportunities in place for our workforce over the next 18 months.

They will also explore key domestic and global challenges to support a green and resilient recovery and ensure the UK is at the forefront of new and emerging industries.

Focused on 5 key themes, each group will explore how business can work with government to deliver economic growth and jobs:

  • The future of industry: How to accelerate business innovation and leverage private sector investment in research and development
  • Green recovery: How to capture economic growth opportunities from the shift to net zero carbon emissions
  • Backing new businesses: How to make the UK the best place in the world to start and scale a business
  • Increasing opportunity: How to level up economic performance across the UK, including through skills and apprenticeships
  • The UK open for business: How to win and retain more high value investment for the UK

This initiative builds on the existing engagement between the UK’s business community, the Business Department and across Whitehall as the Government have responded to the pandemic, including the recently announced 5 ministerial-led taskforces to develop further plans for how and when closed sectors can safely reopen.

Secretary of State for Business Alok Sharma commented:

“These roundtables are a redoubling of our efforts to listen to and work with the business community and academic experts as we consider the measures needed to support our economic bounce-back. This will undoubtedly lead to a cleaner, greener, more resilient economy which will create new jobs.

“The output from this initiative will feed directly into the government’s work on economic recovery and will help deliver the commitments we made to the British people only last December, which now take on an even greater sense of urgency and importance.”

Each working group, which aims to be representative of UK industry, will consist of approximately 20-25 participants and will be chaired by BEIS Secretary of State Alok Sharma.   The membership of the 5 working groups will be published in due course. 

There will also be an opportunity for other parties and individuals interested in this initiative to share written submissions with the Business Department.