Mackenzie goes as BIS restructure hits manufacturing team

Posted on 16 Jun 2011 by The Manufacturer

Marie-Anne Mackenzie, the director of manufacturing and materials at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, is to leave her job with no plans for a direct replacement.

Mrs Mackenzie will vacate her job as head of manufacturing and materials at BIS by the first week in July, the deadline for the current staff restructuring.

Her position will not be replaced, meaning that the manufacturing sector will not have an exclusive lead representative within government.

Mrs Mackenzie had responsibility for developing programmes to help create ideal conditions for business in the manufacturing, materials and engineering sectors. Her role included delivery of the government’s manufacturing strategy as well as researching other policy approaches to support manufacturing sectors in the medium to long term.

A spokesperson for BIS confirmed that her responsibilities will be shared between the officials in charge of four industry teams of BIS; aerospace, automotive, steel and chemicals, and construction.
BIS announced an internal restructuring programme in January that sees headcount across the department reduced by 15% to 20%. The cuts are across the board from junior to senior positions.

The manufacturing team will be repurposed throughout the four industry teams. The manufacturing team comprised 10 staff at the start of the year.

A BIS spokesperson said: “BIS is undergoing an important restructuring process to allow us to become smaller and more flexible, so we can manage with fewer resources and be even more focused on priorities.

“We have restructured the manufacturing team so that we are linking up policy with the teams that have direct contact with manufacturers.”

Mrs Mackenzie has spent over 11-years in government working with business, government departments and regulators, including six years promoting better regulation and three years representing the UK at European and international discussions on chemical safety regimes. It is understood that she will be redeployed within BIS.

The heads of the BIS divisions taking on her duties are: Jane Whewell, head of the automotive team, Huw Walters who leads the aerospace team, Keith Hodgkinson, deputy director of electronics, materials, chemicals and product regulations, and Denis Walker, head of the construction team.

Two manufacturers and a trade association representative have expressed to TM their surprise and disappointment at the move. One said, “I understand public sector cuts affect everyone, but it is very disappointing that they have seen to chop the leader of the team that represents manufacturing, when the Government is so vocally backing this sector as an economic driver.”