The recent announcement of further major job losses at BAE Systems is obviously unwelcome news for the manufacturing sector as a whole. BAE has made a series of cuts over the past 2-3 years. Some would argue that this has been on the cards ever since the Strategic Defence and Security Review.
The scale of the job cuts and apparent impact on the highly-skilled workers came as a shock and a major disappointment – particularly in the light of Government’s stated desire to ‘rebalance the economy’.
Ultimately, the BAE job losses illustrate the fine line this Government is having to walk between its promise to cut the UK’s public spending deficit and its desire not to hinder growth in key sectors such as manufacturing. Nobody is pretending that this is anything other than a difficult balance to find, but it is to be hoped that the need to cut spending does not blind us to the need to foster growth.
If Manufacturing with an educated, high-technology economy are what is going to see UK plc thrive and prosper in the coming generations, surely Governments must have better vision and plan for longer term stability.
I know Owners of manufacturing business certainly do!