A new nationally operated Manufacturing Advisory Service will focus on helping small and medium sized manufacturers to grow, Business Minister Mark Prisk announced today.
The new service will be delivered by the Manufacturing Advisory Consortium (MAC) and will help create an estimated £1.5bn in economic growth, 23,000 jobs and safeguard 50,000 jobs.
The Manufacturing Advisory Service will continue to deliver a national service to all manufacturing businesses in England but the new consortium now means that there will be a specific focus on:
* Driving business growth through strategic and technical support for SMEs developing advanced manufacturing capabilities and creating high value jobs
* Enabling business improvement with manufacturers operating in global supply chains; and
* Linking SMEs with the apprenticeship programme delivering a minimum of 1,250 engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships annually.
Business Minister Mark Prisk said:
"Manufacturing contributes half of Britain's exports and has much higher productivity than the rest of the economy so it is essential to our plans for growth. That is why we are taking steps to ensure our industrial base is thriving as part of a strong and balanced UK economy.
"Britain has world class manufacturers and the new Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) will help them grow and create more outstanding companies with a particular focus on helping SMEs.
"Today I am visiting Arrowsmith Engineering in Coventry who supply the motorsport and aerospace industries and who have been able to grow their company 20 per cent as a result of support from MAS."
Karl Eddy, Partner at Grant Thornton, said;
"MAS is designed to support all manufacturers to retain employment, improve productivity and deliver significant growth to the UK economy. At its core is a passion and drive to help dynamic, innovative businesses to grow - even in a challenging economic environment. These principles are very much at the heart of the MAC consortium's own business strategy and values. Our proven expertise in delivering advice to growing businesses combined with specialist regional, market and technical knowledge allows us to bring scale, commitment and innovation for entrepreneurship to the future of this programme.
"As the service moves to a national delivery model the consortium will continue to recognise and cater for regional needs. The service will continue to be delivered from locations across England."
Previously delivered through the Regional Development Agencies the new service will deliver four times the current return on investment.
The Manufacturing Advisory Consortium comprises Grant Thornton, Pera, WM Manufacturing Consortium Ltd and SWMAS Ltd.
Earlier this week the Government made a series of manufacturing announcements to support industry and encourage young people to consider a career in modern manufacturing. Earlier in the day, the Minister visited the BMW plant at Hams Hall to take part in the 'See Inside Manufacturing' initiative, where he met a group of young people being taken around the plant.