New plan to lift electronics into UK’s top sectors

A GOVERNMENT initiative backed by some of the UK’s top electronics bosses plans to make the industry one of Britain’s most important sectors over the next few years.

Business minister Michael Fallon will today announce a strategy to support Britain’s electronic systems industry, with a new report claiming it can be worth 7.1 per cent of GDP by 2020.

The new Electronic Systems Challenges and Opportunities – or ESCO – committee comprises the bosses of some of Britain’s technology success stories including ARM Holdings’ Warren East and Imagination Technologies’ Sir Hossein Yassaie. A report from the committee has recommended bolstering patent law, although it has warned that “critical shortages of high-end skills are hindering growth, and that there is a need to attract more of the brightest young people into careers in the industry”.

It claims that if measures such as relaxing immigration laws to attract talented engineers and improving the tax regime were implemented, the industry could grow by 55 per cent between now and 2020, when it could be worth £120bn and employ more than 1m skilled workers.

The electronic systems industry comprises the design and production of circuits and components for sectors including aerospace, telecoms and technology, and currently contributes around £78bn to the economy.