Bourne

‘Poor education’ at the heart of economic underperformance, says Larkfleet CEO in letter to future government

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The boss of a development and renewable energy group has accused the former government and its green paper Building our Industrial Stategy of lacking attention to education in STEM subjects.

Comments made by Karl Hick, CEO of The Larkfleet Group of Companies, were in response to the paper, which shortly before the general election was called, outlined a plan for future economic growth and development in a post-Brexit UK,

The chief executive of the Bourne-based company has written to the new government to highlight seven areas which, as he puts it, are ‘either not given enough attention or are missing altogether’.

These include: education, skills development, immigration and the labour force, research and development, business support and taxation, energy, and regional equality.

Top of his list of seven priorities is productivity and education. He points out that productivity levels in this country are lower than in many of our major international competitors.

He said: “Much of the problem, I believe, stems from poor education at the primary and secondary school level.

“We should be ensuring throughout the UK that boys and girls concentrate on science and maths courses. While the arts should not be completely neglected they ought to take far less precedence in our education system.

“That change needs to start now so that we can provide our future industry with engineers and practical people who can help to increase productivity. This cannot be done overnight. It needs a 10 to 15 year plan but we must begin now.”

Karl Hick’s list of seven topics for government to consider also includes skills development, immigration and the labour force, research and development, business support and taxation, energy, and regional equality.

He added: “As we head for Brexit it is important that we have a clear sense of direction and a plan for future economic growth.

“I also welcome the fact that the government has asked for views from a wide range of people. I hope it will give due weight to the opinions of those actually working in industry – the entrepreneurs, managers and workers who are creating wealth for the UK.”