Press release

Leading role for engineers in new Parliamentary Manufacturing Group

04 April 2011


Engineers have joined Parliamentarians who recognise the need for manufacturing to take centre-stage in driving the UK's economy. The IET, Europe’s largest engineering institution is an associate member of the Associate Parliamentary Manufacturing Group which met for the first time on the 29 March 2011.  

The importance of manufacturing to the UK economy is not to be underestimated. As the 6th largest global manufacturer, the UK relies upon manufacturing to deliver 12 per cent of our GDP. It also accounts for 9 per cent of the total UK workforce, and is the destination of 74 per cent of total business spend on research and development.

Chris Richards, a Policy Advisor at the IET said: “In the words of the Chancellor in last week’s budget “manufacturing is crucial to the rebalancing of the economy”. That so many MPs don't know manufacturing accounts for over 50 per cent of UK exports is outrageous. For too long there has been no proper dialogue between manufacturing and parliamentarians because manufacturing was seen as ugly, archaic, or finished.

“Without manufacturing the UK would still be in recession, running up a significant trade deficit and have little hope for the future. But manufacturing is not on completely stable ground and as parliamentarians set out to rebalance the economy, advice from industry will be crucial to ensure we develop support which works. This new APMG will be a crucial part of that dialogue.”

The Associate Parliamentary Manufacturing Group (APMG) will lead the way in Parliament in discussing critical issues facing UK Manufacturing. Just 11 per cent of MPs know that the UK is the world’s seventh largest manufacturing country, so perceptions need to change and the APMG will help raise the awareness of MPs and Peers on the facts around UK manufacturing.

Chris White MP, who has had an interest in manufacturing, since he completed his studies as an undergraduate engineer said: “I am very pleased to see this group up and running and believe that it will ensure a strong voice for the sector, bringing together parliamentarians, businesses, experts and trade bodies in a constructive way. I am confident that the group will make a positive contribution to the ongoing economic debate.”

Media enquiries to:

Jonny Holdcroft, press officer
T: +44 (0)1438 765608
M: +44 (0)7515 814884
E: jholdcroft@theiet.org

Robert Beahan, press officer
T: +44 (0)1438 767336
M: +44 (0)7595 400912
E: rbeahan@theiet.org

Notes to editors:

  • The IET is Europe’s largest professional body of engineers with over 150,000 members in 127 countries.
  • For more information, visit www.theiet.org/policy
  • Statistics quoted from Policy Connect.   
  • The Associate Parliamentary Manufacturing Group (APMG) is an independent, cross-party and not-for-profit leading forum informing the debate between parliamentarians, business leaders and the manufacturing community. For more information, see www.policyconnect.org.uk/apmg [new window]