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Factory 'Open Week' proposed to promote careers in manufacturing

26 January 2011

Leading manufacturers and members of the government met yesterday (January 25) to discuss how to work together to promote manufacturing excellence, challenge perceptions of the industry and dispel the myth that Britain doesn’t make anything anymore. While the latest figures show that manufacturing growth has reached a 16-year high, there is concern that the outdated image of the sector is restricting its ability to attract the best talent, creating a barrier to growth.

To help address these challenges Nick Clegg and Vince Cable (pictured) have asked UK businesses manufacturing cutting edge products to throw open their doors for a day to students and teachers. This week-long national event would be the first of its kind and is intended to offer an insight into engineering and manufacturing.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said he was "shocked" to hear that a recent survey found 49 per cent of 7 to 11-year-olds think it would be boring to be an engineer. "They could not be more wrong," he says.

"That’s why Government and industry agree that we have to improve the image of manufacturing if we are to attract the brightest and best into industry.

"Holding a factory doors open week will help us dispel the myth about engineering jobs, and show they are challenging, exciting and well paid."

Skills Minister John Hayes also announced a new National Skills Academy for Composites and Biotechnology. The Academy, which will form part of the National Skills Academy for Process Industries, will receive up to £1.98m of funding over three years, matched by employers. It will work with employers, the Life Sciences Advisory Council, the National Composites Centre and specialist training providers to develop new professional standards and training programmes.

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