National Productivity Week: a collaborative effort to boost the UK’s productivity
Improved productivity is the cornerstone of prosperity, yet the UK faces a significant challenge. Its productivity growth has stalled over the past 15 years, and UK firms have been trapped in an unsustainable low wage, low investment, low productivity cycle.
To address this pressing issue, National Productivity Week is being launched as an initiative to raise awareness of the importance of productivity and its far-reaching impact on the economy, society, and the environment. The aim is to inspire policymakers, business leaders, and managers to prioritise productivity as central to the agenda for economic growth and well-being, bridging the divides between different policy perspectives.
National Productivity Week has been organised by The Productivity Institute, a public-funded research body headquartered at the University of Manchester. It will run from November 27 to December 1 and bring together academia, business leaders, policymakers and thinktanks to share insights and provide solutions for tackling productivity slowdown in the UK.
“Nearly two decades of anemic productivity growth reflect a lack of economic dynamism and missed opportunities for investment, innovation, and improvement in living standards. Lower productivity has made the UK economy less resilient in difficult times. We are in urgent need of a national strategy to improve productivity across sectors, firms and regions.
“This week, and the wider Productivity Agenda, aims to shine a spotlight on the challenges the UK faces, bring together key stakeholders from across the public and private sectors to discuss and debate solutions and offer tangible advice to policymakers and business leaders that will be crucial to our future economic growth.”
Professor Bart van Ark, Managing Director of The Productivity Institute
More than 15 events across the UK
From 27 November to 1 December 2023, a diverse range of events will be held across the length and breadth of the UK as part of National Productivity Week. These seminars, conferences, panel discussions, and debates will foster the sharing of insights and potential solutions to tackle the UK’s productivity slowdown, bringing together research experts, business leaders, government officials, and civic communities from around the nation.
To discover more about the events being held across the UK, visit the National Productivity Week website.
Topics for business leaders, managers, and policymakers
Events specifically tailored for business leaders, managers, and policymakers will be held both online and in key cities across the UK, including Belfast, Cambridge, Cardiff, Glasgow, London, Manchester, Sheffield, and Warwick.
The week’s events will cover a range of topics including productivity’s impact on businesses and individuals, regional productivity disparities, the roles and responsibilities of universities, policy formulation, best-practice management skills and working practices, and technology. Alongside the UK’s leading universities, Be the Business, CIMA and the Institute for Government are all working alongside The Productivity Institute to run the events.
The discussions will cover critical topics such as:
- Understanding productivity’s significance for businesses and individuals
- Examining the regional dimension of UK productivity
- Exploring how businesses can collaborate with universities to enhance productivity
- Analysing the impact of policy churn, governance, and institutions on productivity
These events are being organised jointly by The Productivity Institute with the universities of Cambridge, Cardiff, Glasgow, Kings College London, Manchester, Queen’s Belfast, Sheffield and Warwick, as well as with Be the Business, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and the Institute for Government.
Launch of The Productivity Agenda
National Productivity Week will also see The Productivity Institute launch the The Productivity Agenda, a 10-chapter report written by academics spanning the Universities of Manchester, Cambridge, Cardiff, Kings College London and Warwick, among others. This will highlight nine key areas policymakers need to focus on to address productivity growth in the UK, and argue for a dedicated, independent growth and productivity institution with similar scope and influence to the Office for Budget Responsibility.
Why productivity matters
Productivity is important for a number of reasons. First, it is essential for economic growth. When workers are more productive, they can produce more goods and services, which leads to higher GDP and increased living standards. Second, productivity is important for global competitiveness. Countries with high productivity levels are better able to compete in the global economy and attract investment. Third, productivity can also lead to a better quality of life for workers. When workers are more productive, they can often work fewer hours or earn higher wages.
National Productivity Week is an important opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of productivity and to promote a culture of productivity in the United Kingdom. By working together, business leaders, workers and policymakers can help to ensure that the UK remains a global leader in productivity and innovation.
Find out more by visiting the National Productivity Week website.
About The Productivity Institute
The Productivity Institute was established in 2020 to address the UK’s long-held productivity challenges that have been prevalent for almost two decades. Between 2009 and 2019, Britain’s productivity growth rate was the second slowest in the G7. In 2022 output per hour worked was almost 15 percent below the average for France, Germany and the United States.