Using the industrial strategy to support higher performance and wages in the retail and hospitality sectors

Central London
Wednesday 02 May 2018 -
10:00 to 15:00

This event presented best practice from a range of businesses who are already making progress in tackling the UK’s productivity puzzle.

This event featured keynote speeches from:

  • Lord Mark Price, Former Managing Director of Waitrose, and Deputy Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, Writer and Former Government Minister of Trade and Investment.
  • Rebecca Long-Bailey MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Chair: Sarah O'Connor, Investigations Correspondent, Financial Times.

Over several years JRF and others have argued that low-paid sectors such as retail and hospitality - which account for one in four private sector jobs - deserve a more prominent role in the Government’s industrial strategy if we are to create an economy that works for all.

Now the Government has acknowledged in its Industrial Strategy White Paper that these sectors have been overlooked and has committed to working with them to drive up earnings and productivity. This major conference will show how businesses, trade bodies, national and local government can make this goal a reality.

We heard best practice from a range of businesses who are already making progress in tackling the UK’s productivity puzzle. The event also heard from leading government figures and policy makers on their plans to support the retail and hospitality sector.


10:00am: Chair's welcome

Sarah is a leading journalist in this field and will Chair the conference. 

10:10am: Why this is important to JRF

Campbell will discuss why improving pay and productivity is crucial to tackling in-work poverty.

10:20am: Keynote address: Why should we care about workplace happiness

This keynote will address the importance of retail and hospitality to the UK’s economic performance.

10:50am: Unlocking the productivity puzzle

Unlocking the productivity puzzle - Panel members will explore what the barriers are to increasing productivity and discuss how low-paid workers can benefit from increased productivity.

11:50am: Keynote address 2

This keynote will set out Labour's thinking on the role of retail and hospitality in the industrial strategy.

12:20pm: Lunch

1:00pm: Progression through good investment in workers

Case study panel - An opportunity to hear from businesses who have made changes that have led to positive benefits for their workers.

2:00pm: Taking the agenda forward - how can national and local government and business work together?

This panel will explore how local and national government can work with businesses and trade bodies so the wider retail and hospitality sectors can make progress.

2:50pm: Closing remarks

Campbell's reflections on the day's key messages and how people can work together to solve the productivity puzzle.

3:00pm: Event end