Plant & Works Engineering
Welcome support
Published:  13 October, 2020

The recent announcement by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak that the Job Support Scheme will replace the Job Retention Scheme, is extremely welcome and will mitigate unnecessary redundancies, it has also been generally well received across UK industry.

The new Job Support Scheme is designed to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to Covid-19, to help keep their employees attached to the workforce. The Government will pay a third of hours not worked up to a cap, with the employer also contributing a third. This will ensure employees earn a minimum of 77% of their normal wages, where the Government contribution has not been capped.

However as Stephen Phipson recently commented in response to the new scheme, there must also be a recognition that there are some sectors of manufacturing where there is still not enough demand to even drive part time work.

These are viable, often world leading firms, facing a sustained but temporary absence of demand. Phipson has emphasised that the aerospace and automotive sectors in particular, along with their supply chains, are leading edge high skill areas which will be the growth sectors of the future. There must therefore be a renewed emphasise on supporting these critical manufacturing subsectors such as aerospace and automotive in order to ensure the UK protects its future manufacturing prospects.

As UK manufacturing begins to emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic and recovery strengthens over the next few months, it is also essential that viable manufacturing businesses who have suffered disproportionally, retain the necessary skills to take advantage of the opportunities that will also emerge the other side of this difficult period.

Aaron Blutstein, Editor