Manufacturing is leading Britain’s recovery, Jaguar adviser Digby Jones has claimed.
Lord Jones of Birmingham, the former Trade Minister, said the carmaker and other high quality manufacturers were booming.
And he said the economic downturn provided an opportunity to attract youngsters into manufacturing – instead of careers in banks or the public sector.
Lord Jones, who is also a former head of the CBI, delivered an upbeat message after the Bank of England fuelled anxiety by warning the UK faced “a choppy recovery”.
Governor Mervyn King warned of a squeeze on households from slowing growth and high inflation, as well as uncertain international prospects.
The Government’s VAT hike and the looming threat of rising gas bills next year would also keep inflation above target throughout 2011, the Bank warned.
Its quarterly report painted a grim picture of disposable incomes hit by the deficit-tackling measures, with some firms facing lower public sector demand following the cuts.
But Lord Jones, Corporate Ambassador for Jaguar Land Rover, which has plants in Castle Bromwich and Solihull, and an advisor to Staffordshire firm JCB, said manufacturing was flourishing because of the weak pound, which helped firms to export.
He said: “It’s certainly improving. It’s improving almost by the week.
“A weak pound... that helps enormously. So does the fact that I think he mood of the country is getting behind manufacturing.”
Firms such as Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) were enjoying bumper sales overseas, he said.
“JLR, they just had the best quarter they’ve ever had. Why? Selling to Asia.”
But he warned that manufacturers needed skilled workers to continue being successful.
“What we’ve got to do is get a kid aged 16 to think hey, I’ve got a future here.
“My future isn’t Goldman Sachs on a big bonus. My future isn’t in the public sector, my future is doing this.”