Government is ‘failing manufacturing’

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The Government is failing to promote UK manufacturing and remains more committed to the financial sector than UK industry, according to a poll commissioned by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

The survey of 1,000 manufacturers reveals that 61 per cent of respondents believe the Government is performing badly on manufacturing policy, with just 17 per cent of those polled saying the Government is performing well.

Additionally, 35 per cent say they are less confident about the future of UK manufacturing, compared with 23 per cent last year. While 53 per cent of manufacturers polled think the Government’s energy policies are performing “badly.”

Nearly three out of four manufacturers said that the Government is not doing enough with careers advice to promote science, engineering and manufacturing in schools and a separate study showed 55 per cent of the public agreed.

More than half of the public believed uncertainty about the UK’s future in the EU was harming UK manufacturing, and less than one in five believed Coalition Government policies were helping UK manufacturers.

Philippa Oldham, head of manufacturing at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said: “The majority of people, whether they work in manufacturing or not, believe the Government is not doing enough to promote, help and support UK manufacturing.

“Our survey in 2012 revealed that the Government’s manufacturing policies did not have the support of manufacturers or the public. One year on, it seems the situation has got worse.

“The UK manufacturing sector should be at the very heart of a thriving economy, but there is little confidence among the respondents that the Government is doing enough to make this happen.

“Government must set out a clear, long-term industrial strategy with cross-party support. This strategy must look to address the engineering skills shortage and provide greater financial incentives.”