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West Midlands 'worst hit' for manufacturing job losses

Trade union GMB says around 100,000 jobs have been lost from the sector over past decade

Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

The UK has "haemorrhaged" more than 600,000 manufacturing jobs over the past decade with the West Midlands the worst-hit region, a new study has shown.

The cuts equate to a loss of £11.3 billion in wages, according to trade union GMB, with its research suggesting the West Midlands had lost almost 100,000 manufacturing jobs.

Its research found the UK supported 3.5 million permanent and temporary manufacturing jobs in 2006 - more than 12 per cent of all employment.

By 2016, that had slumped to 2.9 million, or 9.3 per cent of the total.

Every region in the UK has experienced a decline in manufacturing employment, GMB said.

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Jude Brimble, the GMB's national secretary for manufacturing, said: "The UK is haemorrhaging manufacturing jobs and that is a massive problem for both our workers and our economy.

"We should cherish our manufacturing sector but instead successive governments have driven it into the ground through a lack of investment and tendering processes that hamper our homegrown businesses.

"Manufacturing wages are 20 per cent higher than the national average and the sector is a keystone of the wider economy. These are jobs worth fighting for.

"Whoever wins the next election must develop a procurement strategy supporting UK industry, build strong British supply chains and a balanced energy policy to keep our country's lights on."

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