The chancellor of the exchequer Gordon Brown has pledged to take into
account training and skills issues in the engineering and manufacturing sectors
while preparing this year’s Budget.
But he made no specific promises, choosing instead to recognise the "hard
times" experienced by industry and praising it for its ability to undergo
massive organisational change.
Speaking at the manufacturing organisation EEF’s biennual dinner, which
sported a heavy smattering of politicians from all sides, Brown heaped praise
on the sector with a spade.
He said manufacturing had enjoyed a strong growth period, and exports were
higher than in years before.
However, he warned that any "old, crude ways" could not be
tolerated, and that the industry would have to meet long-term objectives.
Waste in the EU budget would be tackled head-on, he said, while science and
enterprise would be championed by the UK to enable it to become a leader in