Opinion Former Article

‘See Inside Manufacturing’ - a welcome initiative, but government must to do more, says Unite

Unite, the UK’s largest union, has welcomed the ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ initiative aimed at making the automotive industry an attractive opportunity for young people.

However, Unite says that while this initiative is excellent as a short-term measure, the government needs to adopt a more strategic approach to retaining young people’s interests in manufacturing.

The month-long ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ initiative has opened up the doors to over 30 automotive manufacturing sites where young people from local schools and colleges have been invited to gain a greater understanding of the manufacturing career opportunities

In order to have a successful and balanced economy, the UK needs a strong and robust manufacturing base which uses the latest technology, invests in the future and invests in skills.

Unite assistant general secretary, Tony Burke, said:

“The current image of manufacturing needs to change from one of smoke-stack industries to the high-tech, high performance sector that we actually have to ensure young people know that a career in manufacturing can provide a skilled, worthwhile and well paid future.

“Unite’s view is that manufacturing industry needs investment and support through a strategic manufacturing plan, not just when there is a crisis or a blip in the economy, but in the long-term. This can be done by procurement from our own UK companies and importantly through investment in skills for the future. The case of the Bombardier train carriage makers is a prime example of a bad procurement decision.

In November, the union will unveil ‘2020 Vision - A Unite Strategy for Manufacturing’ at its’ sector conferences. Among the proposals to support UK manufacturing are:

A ‘Strategic Investment Bank’ where manufacturing companies, of all sizes, have access to funding at an affordable rate;

Build a framework of policies to defend strategically important industries;

Better use of government purchasing power to secure manufacturing jobs in the UK;

Creating a university structure which builds on the science base so necessary to secure high skilled jobs.

ENDS

For further information contact Tony Burke on 07831 659939 or Ashraf Choudhury in the Unite Press Office on 020 3371 2061 or 07980 224761.

Notes to Editors:
The ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ programme was established at the Manufacturing Summit in January, by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and is supported by the UK Automotive Council.

More Articles by Unite - the union (T&G section) ...

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