By Max Clarke

A review into how we can grow Advanced Manufacturing in the UK has started, Business Minister Mark Prisk announced today, as £50 million invested to continue the Manufacturing Advisory Service.

The Growth Review Framework for Advanced Manufacturing published today examines how we can remove the barriers that are preventing the UK becoming Europe’s leading exporter of high value goods and stopping people from seeking a career in engineering.

As part of the Framework we are investing £50 million over three years in the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) which provides a highly valued advice service to industry making SMEs more productive and competitive.

In January we will hold an Advanced Manufacturing summit attended by Nick Clegg, Vince Cable and Mark Prisk as well as key manufacturing stakeholders and other Government departments.

Contributions from industry at this event and from responses to the framework will feed into the Advanced Manufacturing strand of the Government’s Growth Review which will announce policy proposals by Budget 2011.

Business Minister Mark Prisk said:

“A strong manufacturing base is essential for a balanced economy, where exports and investment drive growth, not debt and unsustainable government spending.

“The review into Advanced Manufacturing will see the Government align with industry in our shared ambition to put manufacturing industries on a more solid footing than in the past decade.

“I am looking forward to the manufacturing summit which will be an opportunity to agree actions that Government, industry and education can take over the next 10 years to meet our challenging ambitions.

“I am also pleased to announce that we are investing £50 million over three years in the Manufacturing Advisory Service so it can continue giving the support SMEs need to become more productive and competitive.

“While recent statistics have shown the future is bright for manufacturing the job losses announced by BAE systems yesterday show that there remains challenges that the Government will need to work with industry to address.”

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills are also contributing £600,000 for a two year automation and robotics programme to be developed and run by the Engineering and Machinery Alliance (EAMA) and the British Automation and Robot Association (BARA). The programme will better prepare companies to introduce new automated/ robotic systems and help them operate them effectively.