CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn visited The Unipart Group headquarters in Oxford on Friday 26 August to learn about how the firm is unlocking its productivity potential through ‘The Unipart Way’.

She met with its Chairman and Group Chief Executive, John Neill CBE to hear about the progress the company has made over the last 25 years and the firm’s commitment to employee engagement, skills and innovation, which is driving its success.

CBI Director-General, Carolyn Fairbairn, said:

“As the UK seeks to forge a new relationship with the world, lifting the productivity of our economy has never been more important. It is productivity growth that will help spread prosperity across communities in the UK and drive our economy forward.

“Unipart’s longstanding leadership in productivity improvement through its people demonstrates that employee-led approaches lead to faster business growth. Targeted, relevant, workforce training is critical and the Government must work closely with industry to deliver an apprenticeship levy and skills system that addresses businesses’ need and prioritises quality careers, not just numbers.

“Research and development spending, which has a direct impact on business innovation is also vital. Despite businesses investing almost £20 billion a year in R&D, 65% of total UK R&D spending, this still adds up to only 1.7% of GDP – the lowest in the G8. The new Chancellor should work with firms across the country to increase investment to 3% of GDP by 2020.”

Unipart Chairman and Group Chief Executive, John Neill CBE, said:

“As long standing members of the CBI, we’ve been very pleased to welcome Carolyn and to share our view that Britain can become Europe’s productivity champion with the right level of focus and commitment from government and business.

“Over the past 25 years, Unipart has invested in creating a comprehensive ecosystem called The Unipart Way which continuously improves productivity in any organisation. We have demonstrated that it is a solution to Britain’s productivity puzzle.

“We have implemented The Unipart Way in all of our own operating companies and in our clients around the world. We know it works because it consistently delivers strong results. It is not a lottery that relies on the breakthrough ideas of a small number of people. The Unipart Way is a complete ecosystem that engages everyone in the organisation in the science of improvement.”