Wednesday 28 April 2021 12:01 am

Britain's top bosses call for ‘national prosperity’ plan to boost growth post-pandemic

Some of the UK’s top business leaders have called on the Government to set out a plan to boost growth as the country deals with the devastating impact of the pandemic. 

The Covid Recovery Commission, a group set up by last summer which includes top executives from Tesco, Shell and Heathrow Airport , has set out a blueprint to boost British industry in the wake of the pandemic.

The Government has already put a number of schemes in place in a bid to kickstart the economy, but the commission is calling on it to go further. 

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A key element of its plan, published today, is the launch of a ‘National Prosperity Scorecard’ to track the progress of the Government’s levelling up agenda, measuring them against social as well as economic outcomes. 

Commission chair John Allan, who is also chairman of Tesco and Barratt Developments, said the scorecard would be “key to evaluating the success or failure of local plans to level up communities.” 

“By looking beyond purely economic measures, it could also act as a vital warning light for local communities,” he added. 

John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of Heathrow Airport, said: “A stable policy environment and long-term National Prosperity Plan will help to deliver investment certainty across the UK, attract investment from outside of the UK and provide a foundation for determining the priority markets for trade deals.”

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One of the main challenges the UK economy faces in the next decade is a skills gap. In last month’s budget the Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a Kickstart scheme to encourage young people into new industries. 

The Covid Recovery Commission has today recommended a ‘Help to Train’ scheme, which would see a radical overhaul of the apprenticeship levy and a new Lifelong Learning Account. 

CBI boss Tony Danker welcomed the ideas and said the industry body would look to incorporate some of the recommendations in its own economic strategy. 

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“The Commission’s findings provide yet another proof point of a growing consensus in the business community for industry and government to work together to take on the biggest issues we face,” he said. “Business standards four-square on the needs to create a fairer, more resilient economy post-Covid and to accelerate the race to net zero.” 

Other proposals put forward in the report include the decarbonisation of housing stock and a commitment to retrofitting every council house to make them as energy efficient as possible. 

imperative to build a stronger, fairer and more resilient economy whilst accelerating our move to net zero.”

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