HC Deb 11 July 2002 vol 388 c1085W
21. Mr. Lloyd

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she is taking to assist manufacturing industry. [66390]

Alan Johnson

The Government's Strategy for Manufacturing, published on 16 May this year, sets a strategic framework for working in partnership with key stakeholders to help manufacturing companies fulfil their potential in the UK by moving up the value chain to high-skilled, knowledge intensive operations. The strategy identifies seven pillars with objectives and actions for Government and industry to develop:

  • Macro-economic stability
  • Investment
  • Innovation
  • Best practice
  • Raising skills and education levels
  • Modern infrastructure
  • The right market framework.

It has been warmly received by manufacturers and trade unions.

24. Mr. Pickthall

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what role her Department plays in cases where companies with manufacturing plant in several EU countries, when rationalising their capacity, choose to close their plant in the United Kingdom. [66395]

Alan Johnson

It is always a cause of great regret when there are closures by any company operating in the UK. Where appropriate, the Department and its partners establish contact with the companies and see if there are ways of retaining the investment. This may include ministerial involvement.

However, when a company does announce plans to close, the Department's appropriate sector directorate will work closely with local and other partners, notably the Employment Service and relevant RDA, to manage the effects of the disinvestments and to look at employment opportunities for existing staff, and at re-training packages.

The network will also look at alternative uses for the site/plant or for a buyer. Invest-UK will ensure that Overseas Posts are aware of the situation to enable them to market the site/plant to overseas companies.