New commission to build on strength of Midlands manufacturing

Posted on 10 Jun 2020 by Jonny Williamson

A new Midlands Manufacturing Resilience Commission has been launched with the aim of leading the resurgence of industrial activity in the region.

The Midlands Manufacturing Resilience Commission, to be known as M2R, will review the landscape post-Covid-19, contribute to the creation of a wider Midlands manufacturing strategy and develop recommendations to help build the region’s manufacturing resilience and its subsequent economic impact.

Dr Clive Hickman, chief executive of the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), has been appointed to head the new body, with contributions sourced via senior representatives from industry, academia and government.

Midlands Manufacturing Resilience Commission, M2R, Clive Hickman - MTC Workshop.

Clive Hickman commented: “Through the recent crises, we have seen the manufacturing sector respond to the needs of the hour, including through vital initiatives such as the VentilatorChallengeUK and the production of much needed PPE.

“We are proud of what we achieved, but we believe there are lessons to be learned, not least in terms of how we, here in the Midlands, can work together to maximise our impact, and develop a strategy that will put our region on the map, not only nationally but also internationally.”

He added: “In these challenging times, we must build on our strengths – our skills, our heritage and our willingness to respond and adapt to new challenges.

Manufacturing in the Midlands:

  • Output – £21.7bn (West Midlands) + £17.2bn (East Midlands)
  • Number employed –317,000 (WM) + 306,000 (EM)
  • As % of regional employment – 10.7% (WM) + 12.8% (EM)
  • As % of regional output – 16.5% (WM) + 16.7% (EM)
  • Salary as % of average regional economy salary – 124% (WM) + 122.7% (EM)

*Figures taken from Make UK’s  UK Manufacturing Fact Card 2019/20

The Mayor of the West Midlands, lead sponsor of the Commission, said: “I know how important manufacturing is to the region through jobs, investment and growth. We need an overarching report that will identify how we can work better together.

“The lessons we have learned through the last few months have given a real urgency to understanding what we need to do to be at the forefront of world-class manufacturing, something which is very close to my heart.”

Dr Clive Hickman has been chief executive of the Manufacturing Technology Centre for 10 years. Previously, he had more than 35 years’ experience in the automotive industry culminating in the position of head of engineering for Tata Motors in India.

He also established the Tata Motors European Technical Centre Plc in the UK.