What recent discussions he has had with representatives of GKN Automotive on the viability of its factory in Birmingham being used as part of the national infrastructure for electric vehicles.
My noble Friend the Minister for Investment met representatives of GKN Automotive on
“The Government are committed to doing what we can to save those…jobs” of the 519 GKN workers, including through
“investments in capital equipment or in the skills needed to secure future vehicle technology.”—[Official Report,
Those commitments were warmly welcomed. Does she understand that if the site on Chester Road closes with 519 job losses, it will be a hammer blow to the families of those workers, but also to the UK automotive sector at a time when we need to be powering ahead with electric vehicle technology?
The hon. Member makes a really important point. He will know that I have every sympathy with GKN; he will also know that we have been having ongoing conversations recently. However, it is really a difficult situation. The Department for Work and Pensions and Jobcentre Plus work coaches will provide bespoke advice and guidance. In addition, the West Midlands Combined Authority and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull local enterprise partnership have several programmes that can support GKN employees to reskill for a new job or help them to start their own business.