Persuading young people that engineering is a career worth pursuing is at the heart of a new manufacturing strategy for Birmingham.
The city council document says that schools, colleges and universities must do more to promote traditional and high-tech industries as well as other employment choices.
Ken Hardeman, cabinet member for regeneration, said: "We must capture the imagination of our young people. Manufacturing is definitely still a good career choice despite the pessimistic view taken by some people."
Coun Hardeman (Con Brandwood), launching the strategy, said the negative perception portrayed by the media had to be overturned.
Birmingham would never again see the days of mass employment and volume production, but the value to the city of science-based technology would continue to grow.
Coun Hardeman said he was holding talks with St Modwen, the owners of the former MG Rover site at Longbridge, to make sure that manufacturing would be a "major component" of the company's plans for the land.
Coun Hardeman added: "Manufacturing must become more innovative through the greater use of knowledge and technology to stay ahead of the game.
"The workplace of tomorrow will require a higher level of skills and we have to address this.
"Within Birmingham there are real opportunities for economic growth in medical technology, environmental technology and creative industries."
Coun Hardeman said that although the number of people employed in manufacturing would fall over the next decade, the output in terms of production would grow.
The council is to set up a manufacturing forum in association with employers, schools, colleges and universities.
Councillors backed the possible formation of a Birmingham city-region, which could assume responsibility for economic redevelopment and skills training.
The performance of Advantage West Midlands, the regional development agency, was questioned by Coun Randal Brew (Con Northfield) who said AWM often ignored Birmingham.