(2) what estimate he has made of the size of contraction in the manufacturing sector since the start of the recession in (a) the UK and (b) the West Midlands.
The Manufacturing Strategy launched in September 2008 brings together over £150 million support for a range of policy measures that address key issues impacting on competitiveness such as skills, design, technology, global value chains and the move to a low carbon economy. Work is also well under way to complete a new purpose-built Manufacturing Technology Centre at Ansty, near Coventry, which will provide industrial-scale demonstration facilities to help industry develop new manufacturing capabilities.
The Advanced Manufacturing package of measures announced in July 2009 provides more than £150 million from the Strategic Investment Fund to support the development of high tech manufacturing that will enable UK manufacturers to take advantage of new market opportunities.
Over the last 12 months, the Government have also launched the Real Help for Business package, and the Vehicle Scrappage Scheme where more than a quarter of a million orders for new vehicles have been placed, 9 per cent. of which were in the West Midlands.
The recently expanded Manufacturing Advisory Service has conducted 31,000 manufacturing reviews and supported more than 11,000 implementation projects worth nearly £700 million value added. Support in the West Midlands over the past year was worth £7.5 million.
In addition, Advantage West Midlands has provided assistance worth just over £54 million to manufacturers in the West Midlands over the last 12 months, including a £3.5 million boost for the automotive supply chain announced in July.
Based on ONS’s latest Index of Production (IOP) data, manufacturing output in the UK declined 15.3 per cent. from peak to trough (February 2008 to August 2009), however there are no comparable data for manufacturing output in the West Midlands over the same time period.
In the UK, during the three months to June 2008 there were 2.87 million employee jobs in the manufacturing industry, while in the three months to June 2009 there were 2.64 million, a fall of 7.9 per cent. This compares to the West Midlands where there were 322,000 employee jobs in the manufacturing industry in the three months to June 2008, while in the three months to June 2009 there were 284,000, a fall of 11.8 per cent.