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Stephen Phipson reviews the National Manufacturing Conference 2020

Over 800 senior executives from across the UK joined us on Tuesday 25 February for the National Manufacturing Conference 2020.

The day kicked with the inspirational and emotional story of how Richard Paxman, CEO of West Yorkshire based Paxman Cooling, transformed his family business and in turn of transformed the lives of cancer patients throughout the world. The lessons he shared chimed with many in the room as they balance creativity and innovation with the practicalities of running a business.

Journalist and broadcaster Andrew Neil provided fascinating insight into the economy and the upcoming trade negotiations. His comments, particularly regarding the future of supply chains, generated a lot of conversations on Twitter. Make UK will continue to work in lockstep with the government to ensure that manufacturers are supported in this time of transformation for the UK business community.

Business-to-business workshops covered the whole spectrum of interests: from productivity to trade, defence to skills and more.

Topics such as maximising the growth opportunities available through the length of the supply chain and the continued importance of a coherent industrial strategy led discussions in the UK Steel workshop.

The trade workshop focused on the importance of identifying and understanding your market, whilst globalisation and e-commerce makes it easier to export today than it has ever been.

In the afternoon, the stage was given to our next generation of manufacturers. A panel of apprentices spoke about their challenges and triumphs. They are a true inspiration and we’re confident that the manufacturing sector has a bright future in their hands. 

Make UK apprentices thrived at meeting the challenge of building a model and working Tower Bridge during the day.

It was fantastic to host the new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and President of COP26 Alok Sharma in his first public engagement in the role. It was great to hear his priorities and we look forward working with him as we move forward – particularly on the upcoming COP26 summit in November.

Lord Sebastian Coe also provided great insight on leadership from his long and illustrious career and gave us all terrific food for thought to take back into our businesses.

Next year's conference will be held on 2 March 2021

News / Make UK