A high level summit of leaders in manufacturing focusing on north Wales and the cross border area was convened by Economy and north Wales Minister Ken Skates today (Tuesday, 4 August)
The Future of Manufacturing Summit brought together government, industry, trade union and academic leaders to discuss not only current challenges facing the sector such as coronavirus (COVID-19), but new opportunities for green growth.
The event is part of a series of actions taken by Welsh Government to support the manufacturing sector, particularly aerospace and automotive, in the region and further afield.
Other measures have include a new Regional Employment Response Group, which has already met twice and which aims to support the Airbus workforce and wider supply chain.
Minister for Economy and North Wales Ken Skates said:
The summit we have held today is part of a series of measures we are taking to mitigate the impact coronavirus is having on our vital high-value manufacturing sector.
The aim is to discuss the situation with all our partners to outline a way forward through the pandemic and into recovery. There will be further measures to come over the next few months, including publication of a manufacturing manifesto.
The impact on some of our major companies, such as Airbus, is very much a cross-border issue. We are working hard with our partners in the Mersey Dee area to show our support for the industry, workforce and supply chain.
It’s important everybody takes action to support this sector – including the UK Government. Sectors like aerospace and manufacturing support tens of thousands of jobs across Wales – both directly and in our supply chains – and it’s important we all take coordinated steps to ensure it has a bright future.
Cllr Dyfrig Siencyn, chair of North Wales Economic Ambition Board said:
The summit today is welcomed opportunity to discuss how we can counter this devastation together. The low carbon energy sector is rapidly developing, momentum is building and North Wales is prime for investment. Acting on this together and with urgency will not only help Government to meet the 2050 net zero carbon target, but also create a demand in the local manufacturing supply chain, create new high value jobs and retain these key skills in North Wales for decades to come.
Cllr Mark Pritchard, Chair of the Mersey Dee Alliance and Leader of Wrexham County Borough Council said:
The challenges the manufacturing sector faces are significant and its impact is being felt in North East Wales and in the cross-border area. It’s vital we all work together and with both the UK and Welsh Governments to find a way forward towards recovery. Today’s summit is evidence of us all pulling together to do this.