One out of 20 manufacturing jobs in the UK has been lost over the past 13 years.
Some 200,000 jobs across the UK’s manufacturing sector have disappeared since 2010, according to a new report from GBM, a major trade union in the UK that has more than 560,000 members (almost all of which are from industrial sectors).
More specifically, GBM’s damning statistics show that 6.7% of all manufacturing jobs have gone since Labour left office in 2010, at which point the UK supported 2.9 million manufacturing jobs. Today, that number has dwindled down to around 2.7 million.
“The loss of these jobs is devastating for those workers – and their wider communities,” said Charlotte Brumpton-Childs, the GMB’s national officer. “Every job lost means a household income more stretched. In the worst cost of living crisis for a generation we need more decent, skilled jobs – not to shed them at this rate. Ministers must address this urgently or there could be worse to come.”
GMB’s analysis of figures from the Office for National Statistics shows that Scotland was worst affected, losing 15.7% of manufacturing jobs (31,300), followed by the East of England with 14% (40,100 jobs) and 14.6% (12,900) in Northern Ireland.
“The global green jobs race could revolutionise UK manufacturing – creating tens of thousands of jobs in fabrication for new wind, solar and nuclear – but this government seems happy to let them all disappear overseas,” said Brumpton-Childs.
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The story of the UK’s decades-old manufacturing decline contains many chapters, as investigated by Investment Monitor. Globalisation, the EU, the unions, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Brexit and automation have all played role in this demise, as has snobbery around manufacturing jobs, which continues to create a skills crisis in the UK.