Service industries key in low carbon transition

While it may be talk of giant turbines and a green manufacturing sector that grab the headlines, Britain should not forget its economy is built on the service industries - and there are low carbon opportunities here too.

This was the core message of Gavin Patterson, chief executive of BT Retail, when he spoke at an industry gathering at the House of Lords prior to this week’s election.

He said that manufacturing is important but that the UK needed to play to its current strengths and grasp the possibilities offered by the services sector.

Speaking at the launch of business lobby the Aldersgate Group’s latest report, Mr Patterson said: “We’ve led the world in many ways in thinking around the low carbon economy and the climate change act is a world first.

“The industrial base of the UK has changed we’re much more of a service based economy these days but often we don’t talk about it and it’s certainly not featured much in the media.

“Let’s make sure that we talk about manufacturing but we also seize the opportunity around services.

“There are as many opportunities around services as there are in manufacturing.”

He said the UK should turn them into services that it can export around the world.

“The timing is perfect – really is the opportunity to set the new agenda – to put the low carbon economy front and centre in terms of policy,” he said.

“If we seize opportunities like this and sell our expertise we’ll be at the forefront of the creation of new jobs.”

Sam Bond

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