Why Manufacturing Counts
Northern Ireland Manufacturing, formerly known as the NIMFG, has proposed a ‘concordat with government’ as part of a new, wide ranging policy document ‘Manufacturing Counts’.
The document, which was launched at Stormont with special guest the First Minister, Peter Robinson promotes ‘hugely beneficial’ relationship with the Carbon Trust to
- lower industrial emissions;
- cut energy costs; and
- develop new markets in the green technology field.
It calls on the Executive to forge a close relationship with the manufacturing sector, but also challenges it to bring about a sea change in how manufacturing is supported, promoted and partnered.
NIM chief executive Bryan Gray said the document had the potential to be the first step in a ‘manufacturing revolution’ and said that it was time for the executive to build on the support it showed the manufacturing sector by capping the industrial rate at 30%.
“Manufacturing flourishes when it is valued and supported. This sets us all a challenge, part of which is down to Northern Ireland Manufacturing. We need to speak up more about our successes, make sure our contribution is recognised and enthuse the next generation to see the value in making things.”
It sets a ‘4 Cs’ challenge –
· Cutting costs
· Accepting the challenge and opportunities presented by Climate change
· Developing our Capabilities in terms of training and management
· Changing our Culture by changing our own view of our potential.
Michael Wightman, NIM chairman and director of Lurgan-based Salmor Industries, said the relationship with the Carbon Trust offered immense opportunities.
“We have opened up what could be a hugely beneficial understanding with the Carbon Trust which has the capacity to help our local industry slash its power costs. But what’s really interesting is the opportunity it offers to local manufacturing to start a business revolution – for Northern Ireland to establish itself as the cutting edge of new technologies in new markets.”
NIM now has over 500 members, and plans to be a dynamic and vocal force in standing up for the interests of its members, and working with government to help forge a prosperous and sustainable future.
Themes of Document
· To put more push behind what we already do well – from the efforts of Matrix in developing our science and technology priorities to DEL’s work on bringing in employers to drive the skills agenda
· To learn from others, copying best practice to encourage small firms to access research and promote innovation, and, vitally, to develop the ‘brand’ that is manufacturing so that graduates and school leavers alike can see a job in manufacturing for what it is – rewarding, challenging and socially useful.