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Jonathan Cook, Dan Hardy and Imogen Sprackling

Through examining UK policy between 1997 and 2018, with a focus on business support, innovation, skills and regional policy, this chapter identifies three periods. The productivity agenda was explicit in the 2000s with the ‘five drivers’ framework used as a device for policy formulation and review. There was a hiatus between 2010 and 2015 when productivity was not an overarching policy objective. The productivity framework re-emerged from 2015 culminating in the Industrial Strategy, which established the ‘five foundations’. There is a perpetual churn in policy and institutions, both between and during different governments’ times in office, culminating in a new form of industrial policy-making emphasis. However, the chapter concludes that the question of how policy can be better integrated across the key factors that influence productivity remains unaddressed, and there is a need for governance and institutions that can encourage long-term thinking.