Originally posted by: sbdesign
Competition from countries with a lower cost of living must be a part of it. Reports of workers living in factory owned dormitories shed light on that to some extent.
Globalisation is basically a race to the bottom whereby jobs will be moved to the locations where wages are the cheapest and legislation on worker's rights and environmental protection the laxest. When wages rise and legislation is tightened, jobs end up being shifted elsewhere.
The lack of affordable loans must also be limiting UK investment in good equipment and workspace.
Back to blaming the banks and financial institutions. It's a sobering thought how much money has been channelled into buy to let properties since the mid 1990s - much of it borrowed and still not repayed therefore exacerbating the credit crunch that has lead to this recession. Only sheer madness could have allowed so much (borrowed) money to be piled into such an unproductive investment.
Another oddity is that there are so many space "to-let" signs, but rental costs still seem to be relatively high in the UK.
That is an interesting oddity I have not yet worked out in a climate where land values are stagnant or declining.
If we (pessimistically? realistically?) take the view that the number of these UK jobs will be be slowly declining then can the IET help people faced with redundancies etc? Can any advice be given on retraining or in the choice of careers which can use their skills? Retraining can take a lot of time, effort and money (money something that the unemployed tend to be short of). Can any decline be slowed sufficiently to allow people enough time to adapt to other occupations?
The IET doesn't really represent factory workers and electronics technicians without degrees so probably hasn't even thought about these issues.
The UK economy would appear to be in need of a reduction in the trade deficit (especially in goods trade), so wouldn't a bit of government help actually be a good investment in the short and long term? Other countries (e.g. China/France/US etc) seem to take a more proactive role in their country's production businesses.
Some engineers and economists say there is no solution for saving our manufacturing base other than good old fashioned protectionism that is still practiced throughout the world in one form or another - and often works.
Has anybody got round to reading In Praise of Hard Industries yet?