Coventry business leaders head to Parliament to discuss major industry issues - The Coventry Observer

Coventry business leaders head to Parliament to discuss major industry issues

Coventry Editorial 6th Nov, 2022   0

COVENTRY business leaders headed to Parliament to discuss the most pressing issues facing their industries, including the need for manufacturing and engineering to be introduced to primary school children.

The event was organised by Coventry and Warwickshire chamber of commerce and hosted by Nuneaton MP Marcus Jones, with other attendees including Coventry North West MP Taiwo Owatemi and Meriden MP Saqib Bhatti MBE.

The region’s manufacturing, automotive, construction and engineering (MACE) sector representatives discussed issues including rising prices, a shortage of materials, the impact of Brexit and the growing skills gap.

Tom Mongan, the president of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said he felt the perception of the industry needed to change to encourage more young people to join.

“Many still think it is dirty, greasy and messy and that it requires no skill.

“Every single person working in manufacturing and engineering knows that isn’t true – but we need everyone else to know.

“We are trying to change the views of 15 and 16-year-olds and their families when they have made up their minds about what they want to do.

“We need to get to kids at primary age and show them how much fun, how interesting and rewarding our industry is.”

Attendees also heard from Climate Minister Graham Stuart, who made the case for the move to net zero being positive news for British businesses.

Coventry and Warwickshire chamber of commerce chief executive Corin Crane added the industry needed to find cost-effective solutions.

“We have lots of manufacturers advertising for apprenticeships but many of those positions are not being filled.

“Some of that is linked to benefits and how a household can lose money if a young person takes up a role as an apprentice, especially when the minimum wage is lower at the age of 18 for an apprentice than it is for anyone else.”

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