§ 34. Mr. Chapman
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will report progress on his campaign to stress the importance of design of products.
§ Mr. Butcher
Yes. Since the Prime Minister's 1982 seminar on "Product Design and Market Success" the Government have been pursuing an active campaign to improve design performance in British manufacturing industry.
The "Design for Profit" series of seminars, which has recently drawn to a successful conclusion, played an important part in this. The seminars were aimed at increasing the awareness of senior industrial management 176W of the importance of good design to a company's competitiveness in the market place. A special seminar on this theme was held on 14 February for the City financial institutions.
A sample survey taken after each conference has indicated that many of those attending have been encouraged to re-think their attitudes to design. The rate of applications for assistance under our design advisory service funded consultancy scheme doubled during the campaign and this rate has been maintained since the campaign closed.
I intent to continue to pursue a vigorous design policy. To this end I am in the process of a thorough review of our design activity taking into account the many suggestions for action that have been put to me in the last 12 months.