Unite, Britain’s biggest union, has welcomed the latest figures on manufacturing, but warned that much more needs to be done to rebalance the economy.
According to the CIPS/Markit purchasing managers' index (PMI) survey - where the 50 mark separates growth from contraction - manufacturing growth in November was the fastest in nearly three years with a reading of 58.4.
Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: “Any growth in manufacturing is to be welcomed but the rebalancing of the economy is still a long way off - decent jobs are still hard to come by.
“Britain still needs more intervention to support, defend and grow UK manufacturing. The establishment of a strategic investment bank or a 'bank for industry' where manufacturing companies of all sizes have access to investment funding would be a massive boost for manufacturing companies.”
Unite has proposed ten key pillars for manufacturing to rebalance the UK economy in a strategy paper entitled Made in Britain. The union is calling for the government to;
1. Build a framework of policies to defend strategically significant manufacturing industries
2. Appoint a minister for manufacturing, with a seat in the cabinet, who is prepared to present a cohesive manufacturing strategy and use interventionist policies to facilitate further manufacturing growth in the UK
3. Establish a strategic investment bank or a 'bank for industry' where manufacturing companies of all sizes have access to investment funding at affordable rates
4. Make better use of government procurement opportunities to ensure goods and services procured are manufactured in the UK by UK based companies employing UK based workers
5. Maximise opportunities that the low carbon revolution has to offer
6. Deliver an education and skills framework which is fit for purpose and provides industry with the skilled workers it needs
7. Create a university structure which builds on the science base so necessary to secure high skilled jobs
8. Create a level playing field to deliver security and fair pricing for energy
9. Target support for SMEs, including financial support to enable them to grow and innovate
10. Establish a framework of legislation which promotes transparency and engagement for all stakeholders in the future of manufacturing.
Contact: Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315
Notes to editors:
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.