Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Upsurge in Jobs Forecast for Region's Car Industry; MANUFACTURING

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Upsurge in Jobs Forecast for Region's Car Industry; MANUFACTURING

Article excerpt

Byline: TOM KEIGHLEY tom.keighley@ncjmedia.co.uk

MORE than 800 jobs could be created within motor manufacturing over the next two years - and that's a conservative estimate according to business leaders. The NEAA (North East Automotive Alliance) and Mike Matthews, NECC President and managing director of Nifco UK, responded to research from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, that showed the majority of regional automotive firms planned to create jobs.

The research pointed to the likelihood of more than 800 jobs to be created - a figure reached by multiplying the number of automotive companies in the region by the market-average proportion of companies forecasting job creation and the average number of jobs created by each company.

Around 100 English businesses were interviewed for the survey, which also showed 20% plan to bring manufacturing jobs back to the UK in the next two years.

Commenting on the estimated number of jobs, Mr Matthews said: "I'll be surprised if this is true, as I expect manufacturers to create a lot more than 800 jobs.

"According to the NECC's Quarterly Economic Surveys throughout the recession, regional manufacturing continued to grow, underpinning the economy and our region's amazing export performance.

"Just look at Nissan's growth, the arrival of Hitachi Trains to Newton Aycliffe and the success we have seen at Nifco too - this transfers down the supply chains and create approximately four jobs to every one at a major manufacturer. We may have suffered substantial blows to our economy recently, especially on Teesside, but I think 800 is a conservative estimate."

Paul Butler, chief executive of the North East Automotive Alliance agreed, saying: "I think these figures are conservative at best and don't take into account any potential new investment coming into the region.

"We have a very strong automotive sector, and growth across the sector remains strong. In addition the Automotive Investment Organisation has highlighted a PS4bn supply chain opportunity in the reshoring of products. The North East is well positioned to take advantage of this growth. We have a very strong automotive sector and supply chain, excellent transport infrastructure in which to serve the North East, UK and EU markets and a supportive network centred around the Automotive Alliance which is delivering growth to its members. On the immediate horizon we also have the international advanced manufacturing park which is to be developed north of Nissan, which will create over 5,000 jobs."

The survey also quizzed firms about geo-political issues that could impact the sector.

Regional operators saw a potential exit from the EU as the key challenge to the industry, with 40% of respondents citing it as their top worry, along with volatility in materials prices. …

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