Home Economy First Minister forges ahead with National Manufacturing Institute
Nicola Sturgeon says supporting Scotland’s manufacturing sector is key in light of Brexit
Growing Scotland’s manufacturing industry will help to support the economy at a time of uncertainty, says First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
The First Minister reiterated her commitment to establish a National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS) ahead of a visit to the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield earlier this week.
She said communities across the UK need to be given more reasons to be optimistic and greater opportunities for the future, with an end to the UK Government’s austerity agenda and real investment in jobs and public services.
She said: “The Scottish Government is looking at ways to grow manufacturing and invest in skilled jobs for the future.
“190,000 people are currently employed in manufacturing, which accounts for 52 per cent of all of Scotland’s international exports.
“Yet we know manufacturing and export industries will suffer if they are outside the single market. Research published by the NIESR economic think-tank last week highlights that a hard Brexit could hit goods exports to the tune of around £3 billion.
“So we must keep supporting the sector and guard against the possible impact of leaving the single market.
“Our Manufacturing Action Plan commits us to establish a National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland, to promote continuous innovation, improve productivity and increase investment.
“With the revitalisation of Scotland’s steel industry and the enormous potential of our low carbon industry, this is the right time to invest in opportunities in our manufacturing sector.
“The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield is a world leading research facility that researches and resolves advanced manufacturing problems, and it is one potential model that we can learn from in developing Scotland’s National Institute of Manufacturing.”
The Scottish Government has established a multi-partner approach to take forward the development of NMIS, with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Funding Council, Skills Development Scotland and Zero Waste Scotland.
The NMIS will work across Scotland and include universities, existing innovation centres and other areas of research and innovation.
The First Minister delivered an annual lecture to the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute on Monday (7 November) – this time on the topic of ‘Scotland and the UK: Economic policy after the EU referendum’.