UKWA CEO Peter Ward comments on the Government’s agenda.
In the Queen’s Speech yesterday, the Government outlined its priorities for the country post-pandemic and post-Brexit.
For the warehousing and logistics sector, there were some key takeaways. The emphasis on training and education, with the lifetime skills guarantee designed to boost jobs, was welcome news and resonates strongly with UKWA’s own agenda, which is focused on promoting career opportunities in what has become the fastest growing sector in our economy, and one that has taken centre stage during the last year of lockdown.
UKWA is also encouraged by the Government’s emphasis on trade, infrastructure and Freeports. As trade enablers and facilitators, logistics providers will be affected by the avowed intention to ‘put trade at the heart of Global Britain’, and we look forward to hearing in more detail what measures will be put into place to ‘level up’ for this industry. As e-commerce rises along with the imperative for greater digital integration and data security, the pressure will be on our community to invest, something we cannot do on current low margins without meaningful support from the Government.
Once again, planning reform was vaunted. Not surprisingly, the focus was as usual on house-building, which needs to be properly thought out. Every new home creates an additional doorstep delivery point, and so it is vital we see a fresh approach to national planning policy that includes logistics and will enable us to provide the essential services that have proved critical during national lockdown and are here to stay, becoming ever more important than ever in the ‘new world’.