Govt chooses finance over manufacturing, poll claims

According to a new survey conducted by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the government is not doing enough to promote British manufacturing.

Nearly 90% of the industry figures questioned think the coalition cares more about the financial sector than it does manufacturing.

61% believe the government is performing badly on manufacturing policy, while less than a third (21%) believe policies are helping industry.

Nearly three quarters (72%) of manufacturers also feel the government is not doing enough with career advice about manufacturing, science and engineering in schools.

Philippa Oldham, head of manufacturing at the IMechE, said: “It is clear from these findings that 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.”

Despite the survey findings, the Department for Business, Skills and Innovation reaffirmed its commitment to the manufacturing industry, highlighting its track record of programs aimed at helping apprentices and record levels of investment.

“Manufacturing makes a valuable contribution to the economy, which is why it is a central pillar of our Industrial Strategy for growth,” a BIS spokesman said.

“Record high government investment in apprenticeships has also been committed to equip people of all ages with the skills that employers look for to prosper and compete, often in a global market.”