UK Business Secretary Vince Cable announced the implementation of government-backed funding this week for the country’s automotive sector.
The Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) funding will be worth £45.5m ($76.9m) and will go towards building the networks and capabilities of UK-based suppliers.
The AMSCI is a competition run by the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. It was set up to improve global competition for the UK and its manufacturing supply chains. The Long Term Advanced Supply Chain (LTASC) project provides funding for a four-year programme of support for research and development, skills training and capital investment among 38 UK suppliers.
The funding will create nearly 1,000 jobs across various supply chains and safeguard 1,600 existing jobs throughout the supply chain.
The programme will employ strategies to address Quality, Cost, Delivery (QCD), R&D capability, management and employee development.
The funding is part of a wider government project linked to the manufacturers’ organisation (EEF) report called Backing Britain, which investigated the quality of goods manufactured overseas. It has prompted one in six firms to bring all or part of their production to domestic suppliers over the past three years.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, commented: “The UK has a thriving UK automotive industry but we must continue to grow and develop our supply base.
“This SMMT-driven programme will allow the supply chain to increase skills, R&D capability and manufacturing facilities, and will make UK-based companies more successful in competing for both local and overseas business."
Similarly, the chair of supply chain group of the automotive council, Dave Allen, said: “The UK automotive supply chain has some real opportunities for growth in the coming years and this programme will really benefit those looking to improve their competitiveness. This is at the heart of the automotive strategy as we look to cement the sector’s role as a significant driver of economic growth."