Clegg urges young to back manufacturing

Learning curve: Nick Clegg at the Festival's Get up to Speed event.
Learning curve: Nick Clegg at the Festival's Get up to Speed event.
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Nick Clegg has called on pupils from Sheffield schools to play a leading part in building Britain’s economic future by seizing the opportunities manufacturing offers.

The Deputy Prime Minister was speaking during a special event for schoolchildren, organised as part of the Global Manufacturing Festival: Sheffield.

Racing ahead: The Deputy PM talks to Sheffield's former world Nicola Minichiello.

Racing ahead: The Deputy PM talks to Sheffield's former world Nicola Minichiello.

The Buckinghamshire-born Sheffield MP told the audience of schoolchildren, parents, teachers and business people that, having seen the enthusiasm created by Sheffield-born World Champion Nicola Minichiello’s bobsleigh and racing cars on display, he felt he had grown up in the wrong place.

“When I left university it was all about how much money you could make and about services, services, services,” said Hallam MP Mr Clegg.

“One of the things we have learned is that we cannot rely on people behind computer screens in the City of London to ensure growth for the country. That model is broken and broken spectacularly.

“It is so important that, at a young age, children should be shown that there are alternatives and that there is a great heritage, particularly in Sheffield, the capital of industrialisation, not just in the UK, but the whole world.

“It isn’t just something that we should be very proud of. It also offers a path to future prosperity, as well.”

During a visit to the Advanced Manufacturing Park earlier in the day, Mr Clegg and Business Secretary Vince Cable announced that South Yorkshire’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and Nuclear AMRC would jointly run a new, multi-million pound High Value Manufacturing Technology Innovation Centre, launched by the Government.

They will be part of a consortium of seven established research organisations that will create a national network capable of addressing all manufacturing issues facing British companies.

The Government will provide funds for the consortium to invest in new facilities, expanding current operations. The creation of the TIC is also expected to attract inward investment into high-value manufacturing clusters around each centre.

Further TICs are to be created, focusing on different areas of technology.