19-10 Paper 1 Implementation of the ERP

Enterprise and Learning Committee
EL(3) 19-10 (p1) : 6 October 2010
Implementation of the Economic Renewal Programme
Purpose – To assist the Enterprise and Learning Committee review
of the recently announced Economic Renewal Programme.
Brief:- Request to assist the Committee with its work by providing
written and oral evidence for this hearing in the capacity as Chair of
the Welsh Manufacturing Forum.
Required:Members of the Committee wish to scrutinise the implementation of
the Welsh Government’s Economic Renewal Programme and would
like to consider the following issues:
The Welsh Government’s intended approach to the
implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Economic
Renewal Programme – with a particular focus on infrastructure,
skills, broadband, manufacturing and business support.
The timescale for delivery.
The extent to which the Economic Renewal Programme reflects
relevant recommendations made by the Enterprise and Learning
Committee during the Third Assembly.
Response from Roger Evans MBE in his role as Chairman of the
Welsh Manufacturing Forum
1. The Welsh Government’s intended approach to the
implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Economic
Renewal Programme – with a particular focus on infrastructure,
skills, broadband, manufacturing and business support.
The Welsh Assembly Government has recognised through Economic
Renewal – a new approach (Released JULY 2010) that changes were
necessary to improve Wales’s economic performance. Therefore the
vision is correct and I commend the 5 principles put forward for
Investing in high quality and sustainable infrastructure.
Making Wales a more attractive place to do business.
Broadening and deepening the skills base.
Encouraging Innovation.
Targeting Business Support.
With regards to the last 3 above I would comment as follows:
From a manufacturing perspective, ERP must recognise the need to
build on the partnerships we have created through crisis. For
example the Welsh Manufacturing Forum and its associated
principle Sector Forums (Automotive, Aerospace and Electronics)
have a great understanding of the “voice of industry”. From
understanding industry needs regarding business developments,
supply chain developments, current and future skills needs and
sector intelligence to global trends. Relevant structures to prepare
us for the challenges are urgently needed with commitment in the
long term to see us through this journey and back to a GDP in
Manufacturing in Wales with respective creation of jobs and
economic prosperity. This ability enabled manufacturing to be a
strong voice at the Economic Summits held during the past 2 years.
It is very difficult to comment on the new internal departmental
structures to achieve this as they have only just been released. Final
structure population will be completed circa end November 2010.
Similarly for the new Sector Advisory Panels who will be tasked to
provide the overarching view to determine policy.
With regards to monitoring and evaluation, well this will come from
a variety of sources, business, government and sector panels.
But how will all of this be achieved against the following statement?
For economic renewal we need to:Reduce the level of direct support and deploy more resources to
wider infrastructure development. (ERP – Targeting business
The Manufacturing sector in Wales has reduced from 18.4% GDP in
2005 to 13.4% in 2009. Although evidence obtained by the WAG
indicates that they should reduce the level of support to businesses
and that the private sector should take the lead. Many businesses
rely on this intervention and cascade the knowledge through the
company and supply chain hence transferring skills. This network is
vital for maintaining best practice through competitiveness means
and business to business.
In the last 2 years the WAG has introduced the Single Investment
Fund and now this has been withdrawn without clear communication
to businesses how to access support. Equally the deletion of
International Business Wales will create short term uncertainty
amongst the business community.
Key message:- Provide support with a system of intervention that
reduces the level of grant support as the project matures.
. This can be measurable with defined outcomes.
1. Move to a more investment culture in our dealings with
This is only possible if decisions are made in “real time”. Many of
the SIF applications for support failed because of the procedures for
approval with no clear start or gate process. We should investigate
future funded support with WEFO European -funded business
support projects to ensure that these are more strongly focused on
providing support for key sectors and addressing market failures.
Manufacturing now comes under the new sector name of Advanced
Materials and Manufacturing. It would be wrong to assume that
only a small proportion of manufacturing in Wales is applicable
under this heading. To be manufacturing today you have to be
competitive, innovative, applying best practice manufacturing
techniques and employing and training the very best.
Our refocus on innovation and rate of innovation and our
ability to drive new products to new markets requires:1. Rapid and consistent delivery of new products into the
marketplace; responsive design and engineering capabilities;
new and sophisticated manufacturing technologies and
2. Extend human competencies, knowledge and technical
capabilities within companies; shift away from ‘manufacturing
only’ capabilities towards the manufacture of high value added
products and services for a global market.
3. Responsive and precise knowledge management and business
intelligence systems; quicker and more accurate decision making
within companies.
This crucial “time to market” provides the collaborative approach
through focusing on innovation support. ERP has the responsibility
to provide the environment for business to grow. However the voice
of industry is well represented with industry partners and fora
working together. The ERP provides the many “what” needs to be
achieved without the ”hows”.
We must not reinvent the solution but build on and restructure
utilising our combined intelligence.
The Advanced Materials and Manufacturing sector is part of the
Therefore we need targets and measures to allow both Sector
panels and the Manufacturing Forum to evaluate and monitor
the implementation and effectiveness.
2. The timescale for delivery.
Under Advanced Materials and Manufacturing there are no timelines
such as those shown against ICT (page 38 of ERP). However the Welsh
Manufacturing Forum’s Strategy does have an implementation plan to
achieve specific outcomes.
We have a unique opportunity to work with the Sector teams across
sectors and the Sector Panels for Advanced Materials and
Manufacturing. The Manufacturing Forum has been assembled from
partners from across industry, organisations, academia and sector
skills councils a wealth of experience and knowledge that
we can build upon. The strategic relationships that already exist
can be developed to build the range of anchor companies and their
respective supply chains in Wales.
It is difficult to comment any further at this stage as it will be up to
the sector panels, Ministers and the sector teams to determine and
implement timescales.
However it should be mentioned that we must move away from
annual budget control mentality to one of 5,10 or 20 year plan
horizons. Therefore if we are moving towards a low carbon and
green jobs future, the investment to build our economy has to be
planned and agreed by all the relevant stakeholders.
3. The extent to which the Economic Renewal Programme reflects
relevant recommendations made by the Enterprise and Learning
Committee during the Third Assembly.
The Welsh Manufacturing Forum’s Manufacturing Strategy consulted
key recommendations from The Enterprise and Learning Committee
recommendations – Manufacturing Strategy February 2010.
The ERP has recognised through the recent Economic Summits that
working with respective partners provides inventive solutions to be
concluded in real time. ProAct is an excellent example and this
unique relationship that exits in Wales will be tested further as we
now face our toughest challenge to rebalance our economy.
This partnership has a shared vision and both Government and
Industry has to find new ways of working.
Roger Evans MBE
1st October 2010