Future of manufacturing in Telford under spotlight in discussions by industry leaders

The future of manufacturing in Telford will be discussed at a meeting of local industry leaders and senior policy advisers this week.

The sector plays a huge part in driving growth and prosperity in the town and accounts for 16 per cent of total employment – well above the national average of eight per cent.

The 'roundtable' event, which Telford & Wrekin Council will also be part of, is an opportunity to discuss how everyone can work together to help the sector become more innovative, agile and competitive.

The discussions will be guided by Make UK, the national body for UK manufacturing which has championed the sector since the late 1800s.

The organisation has a lot of influence when it comes to the sector, with a voice around the table at the highest levels of Government and with regional bodies.

The event is the first of its kind for the borough and already has a strong attendee list with representation from manufacturing businesses of different scales, including some of the largest players.

Guests include Protolabs and Capgemini which will be expressing their views on the future of industry.

Importance

Councillor David Wright, Telford & Wrekin Council's cabinet member for economy, housing, transport and infrastructure, said: “Telford & Wrekin Council is the first local authority in the West Midlands to become a partner in an organisation that champions and celebrates the manufacturing sector.

"This relationship is of tremendous importance to our borough’s manufacturing businesses which represent nearly 16 per cent of total employment.

"Working in collaboration and with the support of Make UK, we want to ensure that we are supporting all of our manufacturing businesses at a time of huge challenges – from Covid recovery and EU exit to net zero carbon targets – but we also know that there are great opportunities for our businesses as well, many of whom are leaders in their field and are investing in innovation and research.

"Our business support and investment teams at Telford & Wrekin Council consult with our manufacturing businesses regularly and we know key priorities lie around workforce upskilling, innovating, becoming greener.

"We hope the outcome of these roundtables going forward will create a more structured and a better way for us all to work together.”

Charlotte Horobin, regional director for Make UK, said: “I am really looking forward to discussing the future opportunities of manufacturing with Telford & Wrekin Council and the boroughs best, brightest and diverse manufacturers.

"To further enhance support for local industry and aid one another as the slow road to recovery continues from the seismic shock of the pandemic.

"Despite the major challenge provided by a new trading relationship with the EU, the sector can seize the opportunity of innovation, green industrial revolution and the levelling up agenda.

"The sector is an integral part of local economies and never more so than in Telford & Wrekin, an area with a strong manufacturing base and a council that continues to commit to industry.”

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