Building the UK's manufacturing future
A major national award programme has been launched by EEF, the manufacturers' organisation.
The EEF Future Manufacturing Awards will reward enterprise, innovation, environmental performance and skills development among the UK's 130,000 manufacturing businesses.
Particular recognition will be given to companies that are successfully seizing the business opportunities presented by the fast growing market for low carbon products and services.
"With the UK's services economy in disarray its time for the manufacturing industry to get the recognition it deserves as the UK's true engine of economic growth and a hot bed of innovative thinking," says EEF's CEO, Gilbert Toppin.
"Too many people have a negative view of manufacturing which is out of date. We'll show them how wrong they are by drawing the country's attention to those businesses that are breaking down barriers, reinventing the rules and reaching out for new opportunities to create a manufacturing industry this country can be proud of."
EEF points out that the UK remains the world's sixth largest manufacturing base, that the industry employs three million people, creates 50 percent of UK exports and accounts for 75 percent of all business funded research and development.
"Manufacturers have been building our future for hundreds of years," says Toppin. "And they continue to do so today."