JCB Chairman Lord Bamford used his maiden speech in the House of Lords to champion the cause of engineering and British manufacturing.
He said, “I have spent my whole life making things – things that enable other people to make still more things.
“Britain has many world-class manufacturers, making innovative, high-quality and high value-added products. We have companies…that make products that the world wants to buy – small, specialist and world-class businesses, as well as much larger industry leaders.
“Manufacturing still matters to the British economy. In fact, it matters a great deal. Financial services account for just 12% of UK exports; the figure for manufacturing is 46%.
“So manufacturing is neither dead nor dying. On the contrary, it is showing every sign of life, with clear potential in value-added industries.
“I applaud the fact that manufacturing and engineering are back in favour with Ministers. I would simply emphasise that the support needs to be far-reaching and substantial.
“The Government are right to set their sights high; they are right to seek to double exports to £1 trillion by 2020.
“We must reverse the trade deficit that we have been carrying for over 30 years, but we will not get there without manufacturing or without a coherent, long-term industrial strategy.”