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Written Question
Manufacturing Industries: Coronavirus
29 Dec 2021

Questioner: Lord Taylor of Warwick (Non-affiliated - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce a Build Back Better fund to help the manufacturing sector recover after COVID-19.

Answered by Lord Callanan

The Government is, and will continue to be, a champion of the needs of business and industry, including the UK manufacturing sector. This is why the principles of our Plan for Growth, and its supporting strategies will put the UK at the forefront of opportunities, give businesses the confidence to invest, boost productivity across the UK, enable our green industrial revolution, and support our vision for Global Britain.

As part of the Spending Review, my Rt hon Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the Made Smarter Adoption programme award of £24 million for the period covering 2022-25 to help manufacturing SMEs increase productivity, competitiveness and drive-up efficiency by adopting industrial digital technology. This funding is in addition to the £8 million committed to the programme for the period covering 2021-22 and builds on the success of the £20 million North West pilot.


Written Question
Members: Disciplinary Proceedings
7 Jun 2021

Questioner: Sarah Owen (LAB - Luton North)

Question

To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, what assessment the Commission has made of the adequacy of the independence of disciplinary proceedings against hon. Members.

Answered by Charles Walker

Bullying and harassment have no place in Parliament. The Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme was established in July 2018 and covers all members of the parliamentary community, including MPs. There have been two independent reviews of the ICGS since its establishment – the 6-month review and the 18-month review. Alison Stanley carried out both reviews, the more recent one concluding in February 2021. Alison Stanley noted in her report in February that there has been much progress on the implementation of the scheme since the 6-month review, but there are still improvements to be made, particularly around the time taken for investigations to conclude. Her review contained 36 recommendations which, when implemented together, will make a significant difference to those who use the scheme.

The ICGS team has already made progress towards implementing these recommendations in important areas such as speeding up investigations, streamlining the ICGS process, smarter policies and processes, improved accessibility and stronger communications.

All ICGS cases against MPs are investigated by members of a pool of independent investigators contracted to work with the House Service, overseen by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, who is herself independent and impartial. The Commissioner reviews the investigator’s final report, the accompanying evidence and the investigator’s recommendation. If the Commissioner finds that rules have been breached, she can require an apology to the House or, if she feels the sanctions available to her are not sufficient, can refer to the Independent Expert Panel.

The Independent Expert Panel was established in June 2020; its members were appointed on 25 November following fair and open competition. The Panel is entirely independent, with no MPs taking part in its decisions or able to influence them. It hears appeals and decides sanctions in ICGS cases where complaints of bullying, harassment or sexual misconduct have been brought against MPs. Sanctions could include the suspension or expulsion of an MP, which would then require a vote in the House. To date, it has published four reports on the conduct of MPs.


Written Question
Prisoners on Remand
16 Dec 2020

Questioner: Lord Bishop of Gloucester (Bishops - Bishops)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the remand backlog on (1) prison overcrowding, and (2) the health and wellbeing of prisoners, including children and young people held on remand.

Answered by Baroness Scott of Bybrook

The remand population has increased during the pandemic, mostly due to the challenges in holding Crown Court trials during this period. However, as published in the Prison Population National Statistics on the 26th November, the remand population is forecast to drop by September 2021 as trial capacity is expected to increase in the next year as the court system recovers from the impact of COVID-19. In turn more remand prisoners will flow out of the remand population.

The total prison population has also reduced by over 5,000 since the start of the pandemic and as a result the total number of prisoners currently held in crowded conditions has reduced. The extent to which crowding has reduced in 20/21 will be reflected in the publication of the HMPPS Annual Digest.

The pandemic has brought new challenges to managing the estate and we have worked at pace to ensure we have enough suitable accommodation, protect the most vulnerable and reduce transmission of infection. We have produced a range of products to support Governors in devising and implementing local safety and welfare plans designed to mitigate risk of self-harm, including tailored guidance for supporting specific groups of people in prison whose wellbeing may be more impacted by Covid-19 measures.

Additionally, the latest monthly Youth Custody data published in September show there were 620 children and young people (including 18 year olds) in the youth secure estate – this is significantly down from the published figure of 852 at the end of February 2020, and the lowest number recorded within this publication. Of the 620 children and young people in custody at this time, 236 (38%) were on remand.

MoJ is currently undertaking a review into the use of custodial remand for children, including identifying options to reduce numbers where appropriate. In the Smarter Sentencing White Paper, MoJ announced plans to raise the threshold for imposing custodial remand on children and require courts to record their rationale.


Written Question
Manufacturing Industries: Environment Protection
28 Jul 2020

Questioner: Stuart Anderson (CON - Wolverhampton South West)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to encourage environmentally-friendly industry and manufacturing in the (a) Wolverhampton South West constituency and (b) UK.

Answered by Nadhim Zahawi

Achieving Net Zero remains a priority and the Government will consider how transitioning to a carbon neutral economy, creating new sources of competitive advantage in green manufacturing and sustainable business, will feature in a post-COVID-19 economy. We recognise that policies and measures to support low carbon technologies can be drivers of economic growth and new jobs in the Wolverhampton South constituency and across the UK, for example electric vehicle manufacturing in the Midlands.

The Government has just launched the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund, a scheme set up to help businesses with high energy use to reduce energy bills and cut carbon emissions. This scheme will support businesses to invest in energy efficient, low carbon technologies and in doing so help to place industry on a path to a low carbon future.

The Industrial Clusters Mission will establish the world’s first net-zero carbon industrial cluster by 2040 and at least one low-carbon cluster by 2030. To kick start the Mission, we will be investing up to £170 million via the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge (IDC) fund to support the deployment of low-carbon technologies and enabling infrastructure in one or more clusters.

The Made Smarter Review found that greater adoption and innovation of industrial digital technology in UK manufacturing could deliver a 4.5% reduction in CO2 emissions and over £10 billion in reduced resource costs. Through our Made Smarter programme, we are investing up to £167 million to support digitalisation in UK manufacturing and through which we are already seeing examples of the role digital technology plays in increasing the resilience of firms in the sector.

Finally, the BEIS Local Energy Programme is designed to maximise local contribution to clean growth, decarbonisation, and to help reach net zero targets. The programme works with Local Enterprise Partnerships, Local Authorities and Communities in England to drive development of clean growth as a key part of Local Industrial Strategies and support local clean growth investment. The key focus is mobilisation of green finance to support projects at local level that wouldn’t otherwise happen. The Local Energy Programme, which includes the Midlands Energy Hub, addresses barriers to clean growth activity and equips areas to drive private sector investment into clean growth across a pipeline of local projects.


Written Question
Manufacturing Industries: Government Assistance
20 Jul 2020

Questioner: Lucy Powell (LAB - Manchester Central)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on launching the Brunel challenge to support UK manufacturers in the (a) aerospace sector and (b) other high value manufacturing sectors.

Answered by Nadhim Zahawi

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave my Hon. Friend the Member for Filton and Bradley Stoke on 13 July 2020 to Question 71029.

The Government recognises the value of British engineering capability and innovation. That is why we have already invested nearly £2 billion in the Aerospace Technology Institute Programme, providing advice on market opportunities and technology. We have also committed with industry around £1 billion through the Advanced Propulsion Centre, to research, develop, and commercialise the next generation of low carbon technologies to keep the UK at the cutting edge of low carbon automotive innovations. We are also supporting the innovation of digital design through the £147 million Manufacturing Made Smarter Challenge.

At the last Budget, we set out plans for public investment in research and development to reach £22 billion?each year?by 2024/25, which is a record increase in spending.

As part of the upcoming Spending Review we will consider proposals for this investment, of which the Brunel Challenge and slingshot is one of many.


Written Question
Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund: Engineering
13 Jul 2020

Questioner: Jack Lopresti (CON - Filton and Bradley Stoke)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy what discussions he ahs had with the Prime Minister on the proposals put to the Government to support the future of British engineering through the Brunel Challenge; and if he will take steps to provide support for the Brunel Challenge slingshot proposal put forward by the UK aerospace, defence, maritime, automotive and atomic energy sectors.

Answered by Nadhim Zahawi

The Government recognises the value of British engineering capability and innovation. That is why we have already invested nearly £2 billion in the Aerospace Technology Institute Programme, providing advice on market opportunities and technology. We have also committed with industry around £1 billion through the Advanced Propulsion Centre, to research, develop, and commercialise the next generation of low carbon technologies to keep the UK at the cutting edge of low carbon automotive innovations. We are also supporting the innovation of digital design through the £147 million Manufacturing Made Smarter Challenge.

At the last Budget, we set out plans for public investment in research and development to reach £22 billion?each year?by 2024/25, which is a record increase in spending.

As part of the upcoming Spending Review we will consider proposals for this investment, of which the Brunel Challenge and slingshot is one of many.


Written Question
Business and Manufacturing Industries: Productivity
17 Jun 2020

Questioner: Lord Campbell of Pittenweem (LDEM - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what proposals they have for the improvement of productivity in business and manufacturing in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answered by Lord Callanan

We are strongly committed to supporting UK manufacturing, which plays a vital role in the UK economy by driving innovation, exports, job creation, and productivity growth.

We are also committed to ongoing engagement with industry to ensure?our manufacturers?have the support?they need to maintain production effectively. We have put in place an unprecedented package of Government support for businesses during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The Business Productivity Review announced a £56 million package of support and set out the steps we will take to boost business productivity, focusing on leadership and management skills, technology adoption, and external support. These measures will help businesses respond to and recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic..

Through our Business Basics Programme, we are also testing new ways of encouraging small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including those in the manufacturing sector, to adopt tried and tested technology and management practices that can boost productivity.

Through the Made Smarter programme, we are investing up to £167 million to help UK manufacturers to adopt and innovate in industrial digital technologies that will make our firms more productive. We are investing up to £147 million for a Manufacturing Made Smarter Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund programme to develop innovative solutions to manufacturing challenges, as well as £20 million through our Made Smarter North West Pilot to support up to 3000 manufacturing SMEs to adopt and exploit digital technologies to increase their productivity. This could add £115 million to the North West economy and increase productivity by up to 25% by 2030.


Written Question
Manufacturing Industries: Carbon Emissions
16 Jun 2020

Questioner: Alexander Stafford (CON - Rother Valley)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what additional (a) support and (b) funding the Government plans to provide to the manufacturing industry sector to help that sector achieve carbon neutral status.

Answered by Nadhim Zahawi

While we are rightly focusing on taking action to tackle the immediate Covid-19 crisis, we continue to prioritise efforts to deal with the serious challenges of climate change.

The Government remains committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. We will continue backing this objective by funding programmes that accelerate the shift to electrification. For example, the Faraday Challenge is providing £274 million to ensure the UK leads the world in the design, development, and manufacture of batteries for the electrification of vehicles.

The 2017 Made Smarter Review highlighted the economic and environmental opportunities for the UK’s manufacturing sector until 2027. This includes £455 billion Gross Value Added, the creation of 175,000 jobs, and a 4.5% reduction in CO2 emissions. The development of low carbon technologies will benefit the UK economy, as well as reduce carbon emissions, including through the creation of new jobs.

We will establish the world’s first net zero carbon industrial cluster by 2040 and at least one low carbon cluster by 2030. This is the second mission under the Clean Growth Grand Challenge, launched in December 2018, and is the most relevant to those manufacturing industries that often co-locate in clusters. UK Research & Innovation is delivering up to £170 million to support the deployment of low carbon technologies in one or more clusters.


Written Question
Manufacturing Industries: Liverpool
5 Sep 2019

Questioner: Lord Field of Birkenhead (CB - Life peer)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if she will allocate long-term funding to the LCR 4.0 programme.

Answered by Nadhim Zahawi

Businesses in the Liverpool City Region are able to access support from the Made Smarter North West Pilot Programme which runs until 2021 and provides support to manufactures wanting to adopt digital technologies. Decisions on the future funding for LCR 4.0 will be made at the next multi-year Spending Review in 2020.


Written Question
Artificial Intelligence: Business
2 Aug 2019

Questioner: Lord Taylor of Warwick (Non-affiliated - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to encourage more UK companies to automate decision-making through artificial intelligence technology.

Answered by Baroness Barran

Artificial intelligence and automation present enormous opportunities for our economy. Some studies suggest that artificial intelligence could add 10% to the UK GDP by 2030. Other studies highlight the benefits that artificial intelligence and automation could bring to specific sectors.

For example, the independent “Made Smarter” review, published in October 2017, estimated that digital technologies, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and additive manufacturing, could add £455bn to the UK manufacturing economy over the next decade.

For that reason, under our modern Industrial Strategy, we have taken the following steps to support automation where and when it is appropriate and is for the betterment of society:

  • £558m of the £1.7bn Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is related to automation;
  • Investment across UKRI partners for robotics, autonomous systems and AI for physical systems since 2014 totals £366m and has attracted a further £153m leverage from private sector or other public bodies;
  • The AI Sector Deal, published in April 2018, is worth up to£950m and is already delivering pioneering skills and data initiatives to create the jobs and markets of tomorrow;
  • Government is backing Made Smarter as our key industrial digitalisation programme, including through up to £121m investment into the Made Smarter digital manufacturing challenge to increase manufacturing productivity by up to 30%;
    • In addition, Government is investing £20m into the Made Smarter North West pilot for adoption of digital technology, which includes robotics and automation;
    • Growth Hubs provide an important one stop shop for businesses seeking to improve their productivity. The £20m Made Smarter North-West Pilots will engage 3,000 SME manufacturers across the north west to improve their productivity, administered through Growth Hubs; and
  • The UK’s Catapult network helps bridge the gap between businesses and the expertise of the UK’s world-class research in automation. In August 2018, Government committed a further £780m over the next 5 years, which will be match funded with over £1.5bn in industry R&D.


Written Question
Health Professions: Flexible Working
12 Jun 2019

Questioner: Jim Cunningham

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help promote flexible working for (a) doctors and (b) nurses in the NHS.

Answered by Stephen Hammond

The Department is helping to promote flexible working for doctors and nurses through the interim NHS People Plan which outlines the new offer for staff and sets out what support will be offered to National Health Service staff including flexible working. The interim NHS People Plan will be developed over the summer with publication of the final version expected after the spending review later this year.

The Government also made a manifesto commitment to “…strengthen the entitlement for NHS employees to flexible working to help those with caring responsibilities for young children or older relatives.” This includes the improvement in the use of technology to help trusts with e-rostering and e-job planning to optimise the use of their permanent and temporary workforces.

The Junior Doctor’s contract agreement provides for £1,000 less than full time trainee allowance to recognise additional costs such trainees face.

NHS Improvement continues to promote flexible working for staff including doctors and nurses through its NHS Staff Retention Collaborative. This initiative initially focussed on nurses and clinicians working in mental health but has now been extended to all staff groups1.

Flexible working for all staff including doctors and nurses is promoted through the NHS Constitution which states that staff have the right “to fair treatment regarding leave, rights and flexible working” and also states that “employers…must consider flexible working requests by employees with at least 26 weeks continuous service”.2

The Department is currently working closely with NHS Improvement to roll out smarter staff banks. As well as reducing reliance on expensive recruitment agencies, staff banks provide a further opportunity for flexible working in the NHS. Effective staff banks can give staff the freedom to manage their own time, using simple, user-friendly technologies to pick up shifts when they want them, get paid quickly, and have control over their pension contributions. Furthermore, where several banks are joined together into collaborative banks, trusts can dramatically increase the size of the flexible workforce they can reach and increase the opportunities for those working flexibly to choose the shifts that fit in with their lives.

Notes:

1 https://improvement.nhs.uk/resources/improving-staff-retention/

2 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/770675/The_Handbook_to_the_NHS_Constitution_-_2019.pdf


Written Question
Manufacturing Industries: North of England
16 Apr 2019

Questioner: Mark Menzies (CON - Fylde)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to promote manufacturing in the North.

Answered by Andrew Stephenson

The Government recognises that the North of England is home to a wealth of manufacturing assets that play a crucial role in boosting regional economies. Advanced Manufacturing – as identified in the Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review, published in 2016 – is one of the North’s ‘prime capabilities’, and an historic strength.

Through Made Smarter – our key national industrial digitalisation programme – we are investing over £140m to ensure that the UK is at the forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

In January 2019, we launched the Made Smarter North West Pilot; backed by £20m of government funding, this pilot is working with the Northern Powerhouse, and local partners, to provide support for up to 3000 manufacturing SMEs to adopt, and exploit, digital technology to increase their productivity. 600 of these SMEs will be able to receive intensive support, and 480 of those companies will be able to access grants of up to £20,000 to spend on specialist advice, kit, and technology.

In addition to Made Smarter, we are investing significantly in projects that will benefit the North, as well as the UK in general. We:

  • Are investing £3.4 billion up to 2021 in the Northern Powerhouse through “Growth Deals”
  • Established the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), in the Sheffield City Region. It has received Government Growth Deal funding to help secure recent major investments from Boeing, and McLaren
  • Established the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) in Wilton, that focuses on the commercialisation of R&D in advanced manufacturing to support major markets, such as healthcare, electronics, food and drink, aerospace, automotive, materials, and energy. The AMRC and CPI are two of the seven centres that make up the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

We want all areas across the country, including the North, to benefit from exciting new technologies that can transform industry, and society, giving our great cities the power, and resources that they need to reach their huge untapped potential.


Written Question
Small Businesses: Technology
18 Mar 2019

Questioner: Lord Mawson (CB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of evidence that new technology saves time and money for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Answered by Lord Henley

The Industrial Strategy highlighted a wide range of proven productivity boosting technologies that SMEs can adopt. As part of the evidence gathering phase of our Business Productivity Review, BEIS worked with the Enterprise Research Centre to develop a more robust analysis of the existing evidence that the adoption of new technology by a business will save it time and money.

The resulting Enterprise Research Centre State of Small Business Britain 2018 report focusses on micro-businesses. It concludes that the adoption of digital technologies is strongly linked to sales per employee, a measure of productivity. The report also sets out that adopting cloud computing leads to a 13.5% productivity rise, with CRM (Customer-relationship management) contributing up to 18.4%. The report also shows that E-Commerce adding 7.5%, web-based accounting software adds 11.8% and computer aided design (CAD) leading to a 7.1% increase in productivity.

The industry-led Made Smarter Review highlighted how UK manufacturing can be transformed through the adoption of industrial digital technology – including Robotics and Artificial Intelligence – boosting UK manufacturing by £455bn, reducing CO2 emissions by 4.5%, and creating a net gain of 175,000 jobs. Government has pledged to make the UK a global leader in industrial digitalisation, and has committed up to £141m to the Made Smarter programme.


Written Question
Manufacturing Industries: Robots
6 Mar 2019

Questioner: Jim Cunningham

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of UK factories that used robots in the manufacturing process in each year since 2010.

Answered by Richard Harrington

The information requested is not available centrally from official sources. However, according to the International Federation of Robotics, the UK ranks 22nd in the world with a robot density of 71 units per 10,000 employees, slightly under the global average of 74 units.

The industry-led initiative, Made Smarter Review, has highlighted how UK manufacturing can be transformed through the adoption of industrial digital technology – including that of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence – boosting UK manufacturing by £455bn, reducing CO2 emissions by 4.5%, and creating a net gain of 175,000 jobs. Government has pledged to make the UK a global leader in industrial digitalisation, and has committed up to £141m to the Made Smarter programme.


Written Question
Manufacturing Industries: Hendon
22 Feb 2019

Questioner: Matthew Offord (CON - Hendon)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how the Industrial Strategy plans to support manufacturing business in Hendon constituency.

Answered by Richard Harrington

Through our Industrial Strategy we continue to take actions to support manufacturing businesses in Hendon and across the country.

We are working closely with industry to secure a strong future for UK manufacturers through major new investment in research, as part of our commitment to increase total R&D investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027. We have so far allocated £1.7 billion through Waves 1 and 2 of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, bringing together world class UK research with business investment to develop the technologies and industries of the future. We are working with industry on proposals for a future third wave. We have allocated £70 million of grant funding to projects in London under the ISCF to date. Of this figure, £537,812 was allocated to the constituency of Hendon to support innovation in the healthcare sector.

At Autumn Budget we announced up to £121 million of funding, subject to business case approval and industry co-investment, for the Manufacturing Made Smarter Challenge. This will exploit the opportunities highlighted in the Made Smarter Review, which identifies significant benefits to the UK from integrating digital technology into manufacturing through a strong partnership between Government and industry. We also announced up to £66m for the Transforming Foundation Industries Challenge at COP24 in December 2018, subject to business case and industry co-investment. This Challenge aims to transform the UK’s foundation industries (glass, steel, cement, ceramics, chemicals) to make them internationally competitive, securing more jobs and greater sector growth by 2025.

In addition, we are working in partnership with London to develop its Local Industrial Strategy, as part of our aim to create prosperous communities across the country. The Local Industrial Strategy will be long-term, based on clear evidence and aligned to the national Industrial Strategy, identifying local strengths and challenges, future opportunities and the action needed to boost productivity, earning power and competitiveness.

Through programmes operated by the Government-owned British Business Bank they are currently supporting over £5.5bn of finance to over 78,000 SMEs; and since its launch in 2012, the Start-Up Loans programme, part of the British Business Bank, has delivered more than 59,000 loans, totalling over £450m.