National Manufacturing Plan would boost industry in Red Wall areas, says report

The report recommends measures to help manufacturing (Image: Getty)

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Ministers should draw up a “National Manufacturing Plan” to boost industry across swathes of the North and Midlands, a report recommends today.

Manufacturing jobs are better paid than regional average wages, with workers earning £1 an hour more in poorer areas, according to a study by the think tank Onward.

But it called for a shake-up to help firms create more posts and the Government deliver on its “levelling up” promise to Red Wall constituencies.

“The UK has de-industrialised more than any other G7 country. While manufacturing is bigger share of the economy in lagging areas, it also provides an outsized share of the better paid, high productivity jobs in those places,” says Onward's study.

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Jobs in manufacturing are better paid then local averages
(Image: Getty)

“Manufacturing is likely to be particularly important for the Government’s levelling up agenda.

“The report calls for a National Plan for Manufacturing to set out tax incentives for capital investment, action to reduce industrial electricity costs, greater 5G connectivity for smart factories (and) long-term funding for manufacturing R&D institutions.”

Onward's deputy director Will Holloway said: “Manufacturing matters because it offers well-paid, secure and skilled work – this is especially true in lagging parts of the country.

“In recent weeks, manufacturers like Nissan, Rolls-Royce and JCB have made welcome announcements of new jobs and extra investment.

Boris Johnson visited the Nissan plant in Sunderland this month
(Image: Getty Images)

“Ministers should build on these successes to create a manufacturing renaissance in the UK.”

Verity Davidge, policy director of manufacturing trade body Make UK, said: “If the pandemic has shown us anything, it is that the UK manufacturing sector remains the UK’s economic engine, and its source of innovation, wealth and prosperity.

“Today’s findings show that the UK manufacturing sector has an important role to play in reviving and rebalancing our economy in the months and years ahead.

Onward's report offers suggestions for how to boost the industrial base
(Image: PA)

“Key to delivering this will be ensuring the Government’s levelling up agenda focuses its investment towards the sectors that create good, stable employment, and powering local economic growth – this means prioritising the needs of the UK manufacturing sector across our different regions.

“A National Manufacturing Plan to take this forward is the right step to delivering sustained economic growth in the next decade.

“ÅÍIndustry stands ready to work with government to put UK manufacturing front and centre of a renewed industrial base in the UK.”

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