UK: Looks to claw back production with Reshore scheme
The UK Government is hoping to claw back some of the production it has seen head overseas through the formation of a new advisory body.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, Prime Minister David Cameron said that while the practice of 'off-shoring' - moving manufacturing to countries such as China or India to cut costs - has become well-known, the reverse process of 're-shoring' is on the rise and can help drive economic growth.
According to UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), companies have been increasingly looking to re-shore manufacturing, textiles, software production and call centre work to the UK instead of outsourcing overseas.
This is due, the government department says, to the combination of a strong and stable economy, competitive corporate tax rates, a good regulatory environment, strong legal frameworks and a dynamic labour market.
As a result, Cameron said UKTI had joined forces with the Manufacturing Advisory Service to launch Reshore UK, a service designed to help companies bring production back to the UK.
"There is an opportunity for some of those jobs to come back," Cameron told delegates.
"For years UKTI has played a vital role helping our businesses to export and encouraging inward investment. Now, as part of our long-term economic plan, I also want us to help businesses bring back production to Britain.
"This new service will offer dedicated support for businesses that want to capitalise on the opportunities of reshoring, creating new jobs and ensuring that hard-working people can reap the benefits of globalisation."
Cameron said a recent survey found that more than one-in-ten businesses have brought some production back to the UK in the past year.
He cited fashion brand Jaeger, which 15 years ago stopped making clothes in the UK but is now bringing home around 10% of its output.
The UKTI said it has identified 1,500 manufacturing jobs re-shored in the UK since 2011 and a MAS survey shows companies citing costs, quality and reducing lead times as the top three reasons for moving production back to the UK.
"For years, the West has been 'written off' and rumours abound that it is facing inevitable decline," said Cameron. "It is the same dystopian vision. The East wins while the West loses; the workers lose while the machines win. I don't believe it has to be this way."
Business Secretary Vince Cable, added: "British industry is coming home. Over the last few months I have welcomed many companies who have taken manufacturing, textiles, call centre work or software abroad, bringing jobs back to the UK. This is a sign that diverse, high-quality British manufacturing is on the rise once again."
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