Vote Manufacturing campaign issues call to arms for government action18 March 2010
UK Manufacturing employs 3million people directly, with 2m more providing services for manufacturing. With their families, that's 10m voters – more than enough to shape the outcome of the next election.
The next government will either salvage or savage UK Manufacturing. Our competitive balance versus Europe and Asia has become dangerously delicate for a nation deep in debt. The wrong decisions now could take manufacturing beyond a return to prosperity.
These are some of the stark warnings delivered by industry leaders at The Future of UK Manufacturing Summit (www.ukmanufacturingsummit.co.uk), held on 4 March at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers' London headquarters.
The conference endorsed five priority actions vital for manufacturing businesses and their employees.
• ACTION ON LONG TERM LEADERSHIP
• ACTION ON INCENTIVES AND TAXES
• ACTION ON ENGINEERING SKILLS
• ACTION ON ENERGY COSTS
• ACTION ON CULTURE CHANGE
The VOTE MANUFACTURING campaign, launched by Findlay Media with the support of the ERA Foundation and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, will drive these priorities home to all candidates in the forthcoming General Election. The campaign urges candidates to back their doorstep talk with appropriate, decisive and immediate actions. The VOTE MANUFACTURING campaign also features a petition on the Downing Street website, which everyone associated with manufacturing industry is encouraged to support.
Campaign Director Ed Tranter said: "After a period of enormous economic change within the UK and the wider world, manufacturing has never been more important.
"With economists and politicians of every type agreeing that manufacturing is the key to a balanced and successful economy, the stage is firmly set for deciding how we get there."
The VOTE MANUFACTURING campaign is calling for:
* ACTION ON LONG TERM LEADERSHIP:
Parliament, Whitehall and especially The Treasury must commit to help rebuild the UK's manufacturing base as the biggest contributor to national prosperity.
* ACTION ON INCENTIVES AND TAXES:
Too many current schemes are too complex and spread too thinly among too many support agencies. Manufacturers need easier access to innovation and investment funding, including a Bank for Industry.
* ACTION ON ENGINEERING SKILLS:
Numeracy, literacy and practical skills must be improved. Programmes for vocational and academic education must deliver skills that manufacturers need.
* ACTION ON ENERGY COSTS:
Artificially high energy costs mean UK manufacturers are disadvantaged, paying more for energy than their European counterparts.
* ACTION ON CULTURE CHANGE:
Much of the UK's engineering and manufacturing is world class, hi-tech. Parents, students, teachers and the media need to be convinced that manufacturing growth is essential to the UK's economic health and offers exciting career choices.
A Voter's Checklist will be available for downloading from the VOTE MANUFACTURING website. This Checklist positions the Summit's five key issues as questions for doorstep candidates and sets out the answers they ought to be able to give. Logos and posters will also be available for download.
Findlay Media Ltd
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