More than 230,000 manufacturing jobs lost since 2015, Labour research finds

Katie Neame
© Monkey Business Images

Research carried out by the Labour Party has found that more than 230,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost across the UK since 2015 as Angela Rayner prepares to set out the party’s vision to “make Britain work for working people”.

The analysis, which is based on data from the annual population survey, found that every region of the UK has seen a reduction in the number of manufacturing jobs but that areas outside of London have been especially impacted.

The region affected has been Yorkshire and the Humber, where 43,900 manufacturing jobs have been lost, followed by the East of England – which has seen nearly 39,000 jobs disappear since 2015.

More than 45,000 of the jobs lost across the country had been held by young people. Manufacturing jobs for young people have fallen by 40% in the West Midlands and by more than a quarter in the north east and north west.

Commenting on Labour’s findings, the deputy Labour leader said: “Manufacturing provides not just jobs, but good jobs – the kind of job you can raise a family on.

“But over the last decade, the Conservatives have trashed the proud manufacturing tradition of this country, leaving the workers who built this country with only the crumbs from the table.

“Under this government, the people that worked to build this country have been forgotten – in towns up and down this country, people are working harder paying more but getting less every year.

“Labour’s new deal for working people is about offering people real help right now and delivering a vision for the future of work where working people enjoy dignity, and where those who devote themselves to delivering public services are treated with the respect they deserve. We would make Britain work for working people.”

Rayner will contribute to a parliamentary debate on the Queen’s Speech on Thursday, outlining Labour’s vision to “make Britain work for working people”. She is expected to focus particularly on the need to create good green jobs.

She will say: “As we recover from the pandemic, we have a chance to seize new opportunities and shape a new future for Britain. Opportunities to give people new skills and jobs here in the UK, to invest in local businesses and to help our high streets thrive again.

“From good green jobs in renewable energy, to manufacturing jobs that form the bedrock of our economy, we must grow modern industries to build a long-term economy that provides good jobs and is fit for the future.”

Referring to the government’s procurement bill, Rayner is expected to say: “We need to see a proper procurement bill that pledges to use government buying power to support British businesses so we make, buy and sell more in Britain.

“A Labour government would seek to help British businesses win more government contracts, using social, environmental and labour clauses in contract design.”

Labour launched its new deal for working people campaign in July last year. The campaign includes commitments to outlaw fire and rehire, introduce a new right to work flexibly and develop an industrial strategy that uses government contracts to support British businesses.

Labour in government would also prioritise establishing a level playing field on tax between multinational companies and local businesses, introducing a jobs-promise for young people with a guarantee of quality education, training or employment and ensuring more workers are covered by collectively agreed deals which boost pay.

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