Hewitt announces £20m windfall for productivity schemes

The
Government is to inject an extra £20m into manufacturing to help struggling
employers.

Trade
and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt announced yesterday that the additional
funds would be split between the DTI’s Partnership Fund, which promotes closer
working between employers and employees, and projects to improve supply chains
and productivity.

Hewitt
said the £20m was the result of recommendations from the TUC and the CBI, and
would be used to spread best practice.

The
establishment of four more centres of manufacturing excellence was also
announced at a "manufacturing summit" in Birmingham to identify the
spread of best practice in the East Midlands, South West, North East and
Yorkshire and Humberside.

This
additional £20m over the next two years builds on the £20m already committed to
the promotion of best practice and the £5m already committed to the Partnership
Fund, bringing the total amount

that
is currently being spent in this area to £45m.

Speaking
in Birmingham, Hewitt said, "Where business and unions agree on good ideas
to raise productivity then the Government should look to back them."

www.dti.gov.uk

By Mike Broad

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