A Labour MP has urged ministers to invest the £100m earmarked for staff training in the manufacturing sector into the wage packets of workers forced to work shorter hours because of the recession.
Adrian Bailey, West Bromwich West MP, has put forward the case to the Treasury that unless staff working reduced hours are adequately subsidised, they will face no option but to leave the manufacturing sector all together.
Last month Personnel Today reported that the government had ignored calls from unions and car manufacturers to support workers during periods of reduced production. Days later business secretary Peter Mandelson said employers in the car sector must “cost out proposals” on how subsidising wages could work.
Meanwhile Mandelson increased funding for the car industry’s ‘Train to Gain’ scheme – which provides vocational training to staff over 25 – to £100m, though he did not address the issue of using any of this cash to top-up the pay of workers.
The car industry as a whole also stands to benefit from a government-guaranteed £1.3bn loan from the European Investment Bank, as well as a further £1bn in loans for investment into ‘green’ projects.