5 July 2018
As the heatwave continues as does CBI stakeholder engagement.
Last week, CBI Director-General, Carolyn Fairbairn, and Chief UK Policy Director, Matthew Fell, met the new Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, to discuss immigration policy. During the meeting Carolyn welcomed the recent announcements on Tier 2 and further clarity on ‘settled status’ for EU nationals. Mr Javid recognised that immigration is a key issue for employers and the importance of recruiting talent from both the EU and rest of the world. Matthew also spoke about the CBI’s upcoming immigration policy paper which outlines how policymakers can design a post-Brexit immigration system that works for employers across all sectors, regions and nations of the UK whilst also restoring public confidence.
This week, Carolyn met with Sir Mark Sedwill who is currently deputising for Sir Jeremy Heywood, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service while he takes a leave of absence. In this meeting, they discussed government and business engagement as well as Public-private partnership. Carolyn made the point that these partnerships are needed now more than ever, but pointed out they face significant scrutiny. She went on to highlight that more needs to be done to create an operating environment in which they can thrive.
Elsewhere, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne spoke alongside Carolyn at the CBI’s London summer lunch. Carolyn used her speech at the lunch to call for the Mayor of London to lead a new era of co-operation among the new metro areas, promoting ideas and investment that help different regions of the country. Following Carolyn, Mr Osborne spoke about London’s position as a diverse global city and the need for commitment on major infrastructure projects to keep it running. Further still, the former Chancellor highlighted London’s position as an enabler for regional growth across the UK as well as the positive role that the capital’s employers can play in maintaining that position.
Finally, Josh Hardie, CBI Deputy-Director-General, joined a State of the Region panel discussion with Ben Houchen, Conservative Mayor of the Tees Valley. This event takes place quarterly with North East businesses to discuss local policy priorities, the discussion this quarter focused on industrial strategy as well as devolution. Further to this, skills was talked about with a number of examples of local initiatives. Finally, they spoke about infrastructure and the connectivity of the region – both physical and digital connectivity.
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