I couldn’t resist intervening on Monday. There was a question put down by Lord Steinberg about manufacturing industry. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200708/ldhansrd/text/80331-0001.htm#0803317000004 As there is no speaker to call you to speak as in the Commons, members of the Lords just have to push and shove – most delicately of course! Baroness Wall wanted to emphasise how well the aerospace industry was doing and as she was standing in front of me I gracefully (well fairly!) gave way and jumped up later. I then came in after Lord Razzall who claimed manufacturing was an “insignificant” part of British industry. ‘Not true’ I proclaimed! and proceeded to say how it made up 18% of Britsih industry and was one of the best paid of employment opportunities.
We really do sell ourselves short at times. We are one of the largest car manufacturesr in Europe and we have the second biggest aerospace industry in the world. We also have world beating technologies in thing like sub sea platforms. We won’t get young people to look at manufacturing as an opportunity if we keep putting ourselves down – that’s why I got up!