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We need a million more manufacturing jobs, say unions

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has called on the UK to take advantage of new technologies to increase the supply of high-quality jobs in manufacturing and high-tech industries.

In a new report, All Tomorrow’s Jobs, the TUC argues that the UK should set a target of creating one million more manufacturing and high-tech jobs by 2030 to bring the country up to standard with competitors.


The report looks at industrial policy in the UK, Germany, Italy and the EU and lays out a number of measures that could help deliver on the target.


One recommendation is to offer new skills to those at risk of industrial disruption. Since two-thirds of those who will be in employment in 2030 are already in the manufacturing workforce, the TUC says it is essential to invest in mid-career workers to make sure that ongoing job opportunities are provided through future waves of technological disruption. This could be achieved through mid-life training reviews and individual learning accounts.


Tim Page, senior policy officer at TUC, said:


“There are two common views of UK manufacturing. One looks back nostalgically and concludes Britain ‘doesn’t make anything anymore’. The other looks forward fearfully and concludes that, although the industry will survive, new technology means there will be fewer and fewer jobs.


“But at the TUC we know manufacturing is a vital part of our economy. And we believe the need to tackle global warming and the progress of sectors like robotics and artificial intelligence can reboot the industry.”


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