Manufacturing will be helped

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LOCAL companies are to be given a helping hand to reach ‘world-class performance’, with the introduction of a newly-reformed service.

The new look Manufacturing Advisory Service was unveiled by business minister Mark Prisk, and will focus on helping small and medium-sized manufacturers grow.

It will be delivered by the Manufacturing Advisory Consortium and will help create £1.5bn in growth, create 23,000 jobs and safeguard 50,000 jobs.

The Portsmouth area is set to see a huge benefit from it.

Simon Griffiths, area director for MAC, said: ‘Portsmouth, and the south coast in general, boasts a high volume of value-added manufacturing companies, which could benefit from the specialist support package.

‘The assistance, which also provides access to some of the world’s leading-edge technologies, is designed to help local companies achieve world-class performance, enter additional markets, and develop new products.

‘It’s all about equipping Portsmouth firms with the tools to grow, create new jobs and put the city on the international manufacturing map.’

The service was previously run by regional development agencies.

It will drive growth through supporting small firms and creating high-value jobs, helping those firms operating in global supply chains to improve their business, and linking companies with the national apprenticeship programme to give a minimum of 1,250 engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships annually.

Mr Prisk said: ‘Manufacturing contributes half of Britain’s exports and has much higher productivity than the rest of the economy so it is essential to our plans for growth.’