A large amount of my time over the past few months has been spent on what will be our next year’s brochure – our main stay selling tool. The work involved is vast. The cost is equally so. In an economy wracked with doubt, either one of these is hard enough to sustain. I would go further and say that several times a day I question my sanity. It doesn’t help that the British manufacturing sector is so woefully under-supported. I still haven’t quite recovered from the NESTA report a little while ago, dismissing manufacturing’s role in the revival of this company in favour of high-tech and innovation businesses. Us manufacturers may not be shaking the stars with our success stories but we are, fighting to keep the Joe Blogs in work and their mortgages safe. If we allow these people to all lose their jobs, the unemployment rates and mix of social unrest and apathy will change Britain irrevocably. There are huge debates raging about how to handle the growing swathes of unemployed people in this country – both economically and socially. No amount of handouts or community projects will give people their self-esteem and their belief in their own abilities. By binning manufacturing and encouraging only the high-tech companies, jobless levels will soar. British manufacturing firms have to start trading on their advantages rather than sinking in a morass of gloom. The appeal of buying local goods can be a huge selling point. We can offer a more specialist service, real people on the end of telephones, faster delivery times, and greater flexibility by being – you got it! – a bit more innovative.
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