Yesterday I was invited to the launch of the government’s Make it in Great Britain campaign, which I featured on this site a couple of weeks ago.
Whilst I didn’t get a lot of time to grill business secretary Vince Cable with all my questions about what the government is doing to address the skills shortage in the clothing and textiles industry, I did find out more about this new government campaign that has a name distinctly similar to this very site.
One interesting aspect of the government’s 12 month campaign to raise awareness of British manufacturing will be a competition that will be run to find the ‘top 30 under 30’ rising stars of manufacturing. The competition will be open to designers and manufacturers to find the best pre-market products that Britain can produce. Whilst the launch yesterday was very heavily engineering focused, it would be great to see the clothing and textile industry also represented in this competition.
One question I did get to ask the business secretary was ‘why, if the government think the solution is to encourage young people that manufacturing is a worthwhile and enjoyable career, do they not teach children in primary schools to make anything any more? Sewing was one of the essential skills that I learnt at school as a kid and I believe that this enjoyment of learning to make my own clothes led me to choose working in fashion as my career.
Vince Cable’s answer to this was that children do still make things… out of Lego!
Other questions that I shall hope to find answers to as the campaign progresses are:-
- Will there been any funding available to small businesses that are manufacturing their products in the UK?
- Will there be a centralised database of UK manufacturing companies, to make it easier for designers to find producers for their products?
- After the 12 months of the Make it in Great Britain campaign is up, how will the government maintain the public’s interest in British manufacturing?