Open letter calls on UK to get behind British manufacturing
An open letter calling on the UK to support British manufacturing has been issued by the industry champions of the government's Make it in Great Britain campaign.
The letter has been signed by executives from 28 of the country's leading manufacturing firms, including Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Airbus, BAE Systems, Microsoft, Nissan, Brompton Bicycle and Rolls-Royce.
It calls on the UK to get behind the campaign by transforming outdated views of UK manufacturing and dispelling the myth that Britain doesn't make anything anymore.
Business Minister Mark Prisk said: "The Make it in Great Britain campaign is all about raising awareness of the importance of British manufacturing to our nation's economy. I want it to inspire our young people to be our inventors, engineers and technicians of the future."
The full letter is below:
"We, the Make it in Great Britain 'Industry Champions', are calling on the UK to stand alongside us and get behind British manufacturing. With support from individuals, businesses and the media, we want to challenge the idea that "Britain doesn't make anything anymore" – an outdated view that restricts investment, finance and recruitment, to one of our economy's most vital sectors.
Current perceptions of the UK manufacturing industry are out-of-date and do not fairly represent the lively, dynamic sector that has developed. The industry has undergone a transformation over the last 60 years, but the views held by young people, the general public, potential investors and customers do not reflect the reality. We're calling on the media to help us to dispel these misconceptions, by backing Make it in Great Britain.
As individuals proud to be working in this sector, we know that the poor image of manufacturing affects business decisions to invest and banks' decisions to finance. On the recruitment side, we often struggle to find the talented people needed to take the industry forward. That's why we're standing together to shine a light on the industry that is worth approximately £130billion a year and employs 2.5million people; and that's why we've called on young talent to put forward their most innovative ideas as part of our recently launched Challenge.
In addition to the Government's financial investments into the industry, we believe that it is vital that we demonstrate the capability of UK manufacturing and its creativity and competitive standing. To help to achieve this, we are opening our doors to the UK media to come and visit our manufacturing centres to see firsthand how dynamic and innovative UK manufacturing really is.
With your support we can ensure that the industry attracts lucrative investment and the brightest talent possible to enable Britain to continue excelling as one of the world's leading manufacturing nations.
Together we can help show the true face of manufacturing.
Alex Burns, chief executive officer, Williams Grand Prix Holdings
Andrew Sims, director, Cooney Marine International Ltd
Brian Stone, body construction manager, Jaguar Land Rover
Colin Smith, director of engineering and technology, Rolls-Royce
David Hewitt, operations director, Lotus Cars
Dick Searle, chief executive, The Packaging Federation
Emma Bridgewater, chairman and founder, Emma Bridgewater Ltd
Ian McCubbin, SVP, supply chain, GMS, GlaxoSmithKline
Joe Greenwell, chairman, Ford of Britain
John Campton, key accounts manager, Premier Group
Jonathan Short, managing director, ECO Plastics Ltd
Juergen Maier, managing director, Industry Sector, Siemens Industry Sector UK & Ireland
Kate Edwards, director, J8 Precision Ltd
Liz Forthergill, chief executive, Pennine Healthcare
Mark Barclay, senior vice president, Airbus in the UK
Mark Cropper, chairman, James Cropper plc
Michael Ankers OBE, chief executive, Construction Products Association
Michael Ryan, vice president and general manager, Bombardier Aerospace
Nigel Stuart, managing director, Discovery Yachts Ltd
Nigel Whitehead, group managing director, BAE Systems
Paul Taylor, chief executive officer, Dynex Semiconductor Ltd
Rob Kemp, managing director, Kemp Sails Ltd
Stephen Blatchford, ceo, Chas A Blatchford & Sons Ltd
Steve Eastham, vice president of Operations, Tata Global Beverages
Stephen Uden, head of Skills & Economic Affairs, Microsoft
Tom Crotty, group director, Ineos
Trevor Mann, senior vice president for manufacturing in Europe, Nissan
Will Butler-Adams, managing director, Brompton Bicycle Ltd"
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