Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that improvements in manufacturing figures are being driven by car makers but the wider manufacturing sector is still struggling.
The ONS data showed that the manufacturing sector grew by 0.4 per cent, including a 2 per cent contribution from transport equipment. Motor production was also 16.8 per cent ahead of figures from October last year.
Unite assistant general secretary, Tony Burke said: “Unions worked with some of the major car makers in the UK during the economic collapse to maintain the critical mass needed for the industry to survive. Fast forward five years and it is the car industry that is driving manufacturing forward.
“The wider manufacturing sector continues to struggle because the government has done next to nothing to help re-balance the economy. It speaks volumes that George Osborne did not mention manufacturing once in his autumn statement speech.
“The government has no real long term strategic plan. Britain needs a workable manufacturing strategy to defend and create skilled jobs and bring about a long-term re-balancing of the economy in favour 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.
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.
Read Unite's strategy document Made in Britain