A fresh lease of life for British manufacturing – MoneyWeek

Whatthecommentatorssaid

Manufacturinghastakenonehellofabeating,saidSeanOGradyinTheIndependent。

Ithasseentheworstdropinoutputsincethe1930sandemploymentinthesectorhasfallentoarecordlowof2。

7millionpeople。

Yetitsstillcrucialtotheeconomy。

Itaccountsfor15%ofGDPandoverhalfourexports,anditsproductivitygrowth–50%overthepast12years–outstripstherestoftheeconomy。

Sectoroutputisincreasinglyhigh-techanditcreateshigh-skilledjobsalloverthecountry。

ItscertainlygoodnewsthatministershavefinallyrecognisedthatahealthyeconomycannotsurviveontheCityalone,saidIanKinginTheTimes。

Butthishandoutlookstokenistic–notethatRolls-Roycespendsaround£45monresearchanddevelopmentinasinglemonth。

Thewaythegovernmenthasbeenthrowingshort-termbungsaroundandditheringoverwhethertosupportJaguarLandRoverandVauxhall,alongwithitsfailuretostemtheongoingclosureofuniversitysciencedepartments,alsosuggestsitisntreallyseriousaboutmanufacturing。

Still,breakingwiththreedecadesofreflexivescepticismabouttheimportanceofmanufacturingshouldhelpyoungpeoplerecognisethatscienceandindustryarentdeadsubjects,saidtheFT。

Butwhilehandoutsareallverywell,theyarenosubstituteforanenvironmentinwhichenterprisecanflourish。

Thatmeansbetterregulationandeducation。

Mandelsonisrighttooptforamorebalancedapproachtomanufacturing,butheshouldkeepinmindwhathepreachedinBrussels:intheend,markets,notgovernments,makeusrich。

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