Motor Vehicles: Manufacturing Industries:Written question - HL16504

Q
Asked on: 19 June 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Motor Vehicles: Manufacturing Industries
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 20 May (HL15847), what recent assessment they have made of the impact of (1) Honda's decision to close its Swindon plant in 2021, and (2) other recent announcements by car manufacturers, on the wider supply chain.
A
Answered by: Lord Henley
Answered on: 03 July 2019

The Government is working with the car manufacturers and key industry groups to identify and assess supply chain risks in all cases where car manufacturing operations are expected to cease or reduce. It is a complex picture and it is difficult to project the number of potential job losses. Every effort is being made to minimise job losses by supporting affected suppliers to identify new opportunities to sustain and potentially grow their businesses before the impact of these announcements comes to pass.

My rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy convened the latest meeting of the Honda Swindon Task Force on 19 June bringing together civic leaders, local partners and MPs, Honda, Unite the Union, sector representatives and leading government officials. I am pleased to confirm that the Government announced this April that Swindon will be one of twelve new Institutes of Technology to be set up across the country to boost the nation's skills and set more young people on a clear path to high quality and well-paid jobs. I strongly support this announcement, with Swindon being selected from a highly competitive field, which is testament to the hard work of Swindon College and the consortia involved in the bid. This will build on Swindon's reputation and heritage for world beating manufacturing and engineering, putting Swindon at the heart of the industries and jobs of tomorrow.

The Government has recently launched the £16m National Manufacturing Competitiveness Levels (NMCL) supply chain programme, which is designed to improve competitiveness, raise workforce capability, and increase the productivity of automotive suppliers. The programme is open to Honda suppliers. The Task Force is expected to continue to meet on a regular basis to assess and mitigate impacts stemming from closure of Honda operations in Swindon.

We are doing everything possible to support businesses, their workforce and communities affected by the announcements. We continue the strive to attract investment, creating highly-skilled jobs that offer fulfilling careers for years to come.

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