Plea for government to help troubled UK manufacturing

The government is pressed to help the troubled UK manufacturing sector

The UK Government has been urged to tackle the economic downturn "head on" to minimise job cuts across British industry following a new study showing the impact on manufacturing firms.

A survey of almost 800 companies revealed that employment and investment plans had gone into reverse and there was a "sharp decline" in expectations for the coming months.

The Engineering Employers Federation and Grant Thornton said their study revealed that job losses were being predicted across the UK, with only firms in London, south-east and eastern England planning to recruit staff.

The economy was described as "stagnant" and coupled with a sharply deteriorating eurozone was now impacting on all sectors of manufacturing.

The EEF said the Government should bring forward policies to boost business to help reduce job cuts and pave the way for an economic upturn.

The warning comes as a major car plant in the UK has announced a cut in production because of the economic downturn.

The Toyota factory at Burnaston, Derbyshire – Britain’s second-biggest car plant after the Nissan facility in Sunderland – is reducing the number of daily shifts on the Auris model's production line from from two to one this year. The move will affect only temporary workers, Toyota said.

In addition, Land Rover is to cut production shifts at its Solihull plant, although it said there would be no redundancies.

Recession fears were also fuelled after figures showed the manufacturing sector shrank for the fourth consecutive month in August. Manufacturers reported falling volumes of new orders and output levels last month - albeit at a slower rate than in July - while the sector also saw job losses for the fifth month in a row.

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