Yorkshire entrepreneur appointed to Made Smarter Commission

Yorkshire entrepreneur, Margaret Wood MBE has been appointed to the Government Made Smarter Commission of industrial leaders tasked with tackling low productivity and improving efficiency among the country’s smaller businesses, which launches Thursday.

The founder of Wakefield based ICW (UK) Ltd has been invited by Business Secretary, Greg Clarke, to join the 18 strong panel of high-powered industrialists lead by the CEO of Siemens UK Ltd Professor Juergen Maier. Their role is to understand how to implement the Made Smarter Review developed by Prof Maier.

Mrs Wood, who has previously advised the Department for Education and is a NED for the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult said she hoped to be able to act as a conduit between the small bright spark startups who generated great ideas but struggled to get the backing to make them come to fruition.

“The Made Smarter Review identified the role that IT and technology could have on improving productivity, boost efficiency and generating greater wealth,” she said.

“It is very ambitious to and appreciates that with the right technologies and training the manufacturing sector could grow by three per cent, employ 175,000 more people and generate an additional £455bn in the next ten years.

“That demands a lot of investment across the board from business, individuals and Government so that companies can feel confident to invest in new technologies for people who will have the skills to use them,” she added.

Sitting alongside business leaders from large companies including GSK, Nestle and BAE Mrs Wood said she was keen to encourage large businesses to help their supply chains embrace technology, upskill their workers and diversify their talent pool.

“We can only grow a robust manufacturing base if we support the bright spark startups and that has to be a collective effort including larger businesses and Government,” she added.

Mrs Wood will help launch Wakefield Business Week on October 1 at Unity Works.

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