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Manufacturing summit to tackle jobs and investment


Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt yesterday unveiled plans to hold a Manufacturing Summit to tackle the challenges facing manufacturing firms in every part of the UK.

Announcing the Manufacturing Summit yesterday, Patricia Hewitt said, “There is real pain in our manufacturing industry – workers with ten, 20 and 30 years of skill and experience gutted to find themselves thrown out of work.

“I shall be holding a Manufacturing Summit, bringing together the development agencies, the TUC, CBI and the devolved administrations – people who can act today and build manufacturing industry for the future.

“Our industrial strategy cannot be imposed from the top – it has to be built in every nation and region.”

The Manufacturing Summit, to be held next month, will bring together:

  • the Chairs of the development agencies in the regions and nations of the UK;
  • Government Ministers from across the UK;
  • Business and trade union leaders.

The Summit will aim to:

  • ensure that Government departments, Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) and other partners are working effectively together to support the long-term future of manufacturing in Britain;
  • to enable RDAs to learn from each others experiences on the nurturing of innovation and skills in the regions; and
  • to ensure the best co-ordinated use of local and national resources to assist people and firms in regions and localities that may be going through major structural change.

Ms Hewitt added that she envisaged a key role for the Regional Development Agencies, “We are strengthening the Regional Development Agencies – and giving them more money – to lead to the creation of a high-wage high-skill economy in their region. And I want to see more of that money invested in the future of our manufacturing workers.”

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