A minister for manufacturing is need to drive through an interventionist strategy to help rebalance the economy, according to Unite.
Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke told a Unite conference in Brighton: "Despite claims from the coalition government that Britain is booming, a recovery feels a long way off for many of our members. The reality is decent jobs are still hard to come by. One million young people are out of work and many of the jobs available are short-term and precarious.
"The Government has no real long-term strategic plan to make the fundamental shift to balance the service sector, finance sector and manufacturing in order to provide a solid foundation for a sustained recovery that won't get shaken to its foundations as happened in 2008.
"We need an interventionist manufacturing strategy to defend and grow UK manufacturing. Britain needs to provide its citizens with quality employment opportunities which in turn drive growth. Decent, skilled manufacturing jobs do just that. Unite believes that one way to help is by having a dedicated minister for manufacturing to give real direction and substance.
"The automotive industry is a success story, as is our aerospace sector, however re-balancing of the economy away is a long way off. Britain needs to learn from its successes and the success of other countries like Germany that defend and support their manufacturing base which helped it to ride the worst of recession.”