The leaders – who include the chairs and CEOs of UK companies Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, ITV, BT Group, Tesco and GSK – have agreed to co-chair the councils which will each meet three times a year, twice with prime minister Theresa May and once with a senior cabinet minister.
Their brief will involve giving strategic advice and policy recommendations on major business issues and to act as a forum for sharing developing policy ideas with government.
“The UK has always been one of the best places in the world to do business and is a leader in sectors from advanced manufacturing to the creative industries,” May said.
“Brexit presents a huge opportunity to build a better, stronger economy for people all over the country. So I’ve asked these new councils to advise us on the opportunities and challenges facing business as we shape the UK for the future.”
Welcoming the launch of the councils, BAE Systems chairman Sir Roger Carr described companies in the industrial, manufacturing and infrastructure sector as “the backbone of the economy” and among the UK’s largest employers.
“We are a vital part of the wealth-creating machinery of the country where improved training, productivity and exporting will be the cornerstones of our global success,” he said. “Engaging with the prime minister to tackle these issues in a focused and practical manner is a welcome and important step forward in achieving our collective growth ambitions.”
The five councils are:
- Telecoms, Creative, Technology and Media (co-chairs: BT Group chair Jan du Plessis and ITV CEO Carolyn McCall; business group representatives CBI president John Allan and IoD director general Stephen Martin).
- Industrial, Infrastructure and Manufacturing (co-chairs BAE Systems chair Roger Carr and Rolls Royce chair Ian Davis; business representative EEF CEO Stephen Phipson).
- Small Business, Scale ups and Entrepreneurs (co-chairs Timpson CEO James Timpson, Founders Forum co-founder and chair Brent Hoberman and Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones; business representative Federation of Small Business national chair Mike Cherry).
- Services – Financial, Professional and Education Services (co-chairs Prudential chair Paul Manduca and Santander UK chair Shriti Vadera; business representative CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn).
- Consumer, Retail and Life Sciences (co-chairs Tesco CEO Dave Lewis and GSK CEO Emma Walmsley; business representative British Chambers of Commerce director general Adam Marshall).