Belfast Telegraph

Nicola Sturgeon to stress importance of manufacturing sector

The First Minister has highlighted the importance of the manufacturing sector following the Brexit vote ahead of a visit to Sheffield today.

Manufacturing, which employs 190,000 people in Scotland and accounts for more than half its international exports, will suffer if the UK leaves the European single market, Nicola Sturgeon said.

She is due to visit the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield ahead of a delivering the annual lecture to Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute on economic policy following the EU referendum result.

The Scottish Government plans to set up a National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland which it has said could "create a new era for Scottish manufacturing".

The centre is intended to help manufacturers compete in international markets, and create highly skilled jobs.

Ms Sturgeon said: "The Scottish Government is looking at ways to grow manufacturing and invest in skilled jobs for the future."

She added: "W e know manufacturing and export industries will suffer if they are outside the single market. Research published by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research economic think-tank last week highlights that a hard Brexit could hit goods exports to the tune of around £3 billion.

"So we must keep supporting the sector and guard against the possible impact of leaving the single market.

"Our Manufacturing Action Plan commits us to establish a National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland, to promote continuous innovation, improve productivity and increase investment.

"With the revitalisation of Scotland's steel industry and the enormous potential of our low carbon industry, this is the right time to invest in opportunities in our manufacturing sector.

"The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield is a world leading research facility that researches and resolves advanced manufacturing problems, and it is one potential model that we can learn from in developing Scotland's National Institute of Manufacturing."