BIS closes Insight

Posted on 17 Feb 2011 by The Manufacturer

The company established by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills tasked with improving the image of manufacturing careers has been closed.

Manufacturing Insight was set up in 2009 to promote manufacturing as a valued career choice to 14-19 year olds.

Insight was a limited company designed to be self-financing and operate independently from the Government’s business department (BIS). It planned to raise money through industry sponsorship activities. BIS said today (Thursday) that it failed to adequately finance itself.

It is also believed that BIS officials felt the service had not generated enough positive media attention for manufacturing during its tenure.

A BIS spokesperson said: “Manufacturing Insight… did not gain enough traction with industry and was unable to secure sufficient funds to become self sustaining.

“To ensure the taxpayer receives value for money we have decided to close Manufacturing Insight as a limited company and it will cease to trade with immediate effect.”
BIS added: “However, this Government is clear on its ambition to make manufacturing a more attractive option for school leavers and graduates.

The announcement comes a week after National Apprenticeship Week, when many UK-based companies announced new apprentice places and pledged their support for a non-university route to employment.

A replacement service for Insight has not been proposed at this time, but detail on how the Government plans to promote manufacturing careers will be provided in the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Review, to be published near the Budget in March.

Insight generated mainstream news attention for UK industry, running a series of manufacturing supplements in The Times, The Telegraph and The Guardian newspapers. It is understood to have had a great deal of verbal support from large companies including Rolls-Royce, Siemens and BAE Systems, as well as smaller companies like electric motor manufacturer ATB Morley.

Many stakeholders in UK manufacturing will feel disappointed that, despite the intense pressures for public sector cuts, an office appointed to promote manufacturing and engineering to young people has had to be wound-up.

Manufacturing Insight was led by Nick Hussey, chairman of SayOne Media Ltd, publishers of The Manufacturer magazine. Insight’s press and administrative staff are either retained within BIS, or were employed on temporary contracts.