As at 16th August 2020, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has helped 74,800 manufacturing employers across the UK to furlough just over 1 million jobs, protecting people’s livelihoods. As we re-open the economy, it is right that our focus shifts to getting furloughed employees back to work.
Throughout the Covid-19 outbreak, we have engaged closely with the UK’s manufacturing sectors and their input has helped to shape the Government’s response. This engagement includes a series of recovery roundtables, chaired by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, bringing together businesses, business representative groups (including Make UK), and leading academics. Participants discussed the potential measures needed to support economic recovery and to ensure we have the right skills in place to meet the needs of the manufacturing industry over the next 18 months.
This builds on the Government’s commitment to invest in manufacturing research and developmetn and innovation. For example, we are investing up to £1 billion of additional funding to develop and embed the next generation of cutting-edge automotive technologies through the Automotive Transformation Fund, as well as £1.9 billion up to 2026 for the Aerospace Technology Research programme, helping to secure future jobs in these strategically important sectors.