Responding to the Government’s Industrial Strategy, Peter Holbrook CEO of Social Enterprise UK said:
“The Industrial Strategy is a step forward when what is needed is a step change. Social enterprises welcome Government’s commitment to a much more an active role in shaping the economy, but that the Industrial Strategy does not even include the word ‘inequality’ speaks volumes about the priorities of this administration.
It is bewildering that the Government has chosen not to address procurement and particularly social value in the Industrial Strategy given the support for this across the business community, public sector procurement teams, the voluntary sector, and think tanks. Brexit looks to have blinded our Government from seeing the levers it has at its disposal to reshape the economy and kickstart growth.
As a country, we are facing the single largest peacetime challenge since the oil shocks of the 1970s; inequality is reaching startling levels; and, there are worrying structural imbalances in the economy. Yet Brexit also offers an opportunity for Government to design a distinctively social set of public sector procurement policies to deal with some of these problems. Sadly, it appears that the desire or the vision to shake things up is not present.
Despite the energy and ambition of our new minister, it appears clear the Office for Civil Society is unable to exert any influence over BEIS for the benefit of the sector and wider society. It is time to move responsibility for social enterprise to BEIS so that our voice can be heard and our ideas considered.”