Government must co-ordinate efforts to bolster manufacturing
27 November 2013
The Irish Academy of Engineering has warned that in the absence of major new initiatives to implement key manufacturing-related policies, the trend of decline in manufacturing jobs will continue, hindering Ireland’s economic recovery and hastening the ‘export’ of Irish engineers.
In its interim report on ‘The Future of Manufacturing in Ireland’, the Academy states that the decline is evident in both the indigenous sector as well as multinational companies operating in Ireland.
“This report has been prepared at a time when the manufacturing sector in Ireland is facing very serious challenges, both at home and globally,” said Tim Brick, executive director of the Irish Academy of Engineering. “The conditions and strategies that underpinned the growth of manufacturing output in Ireland, starting in the 1990s, are no longer available, such as corporate tax initiatives, a more competitive cost base and lower energy prices.”
The key policies and strategies that have emerged from the Academy’s new study relate to what it says is “the urgent necessity” to identify emerging technologies, education and training, sustained productivity improvement aligned with a competitive cost base. “An attractive framework for investment, certainty in Government policies, planning, permitting and clustering of key sectors recommend themselves,” according to the report.
Key policies and strategies that emerged from the study of manufacturing by the Academy include:
- Identification of emerging technologies for manufacturing to meet changing and new market demands;
- Education and training to underpin manufacturing;
- Engineering/manufacturing research and development that is both prioritised and integrated;
- Sustained productivity improvement of +8% per annum;
- Development of a more competitive cost base in Ireland, e.g. wages, energy, overheads, services;
- Creation of a more attractive framework for investment with consistent and predictable policies;
- Efficient planning, permitting, regulation to facilitate and encourage investment;
- Expansion of the indigenous manufacturing sector with stronger cross border co-ordination; and
- Integration/clustering of key sectors with a view to having synergistic critical mass.
“While many aspects of these policies are being put in place, they need to be concertedly and consistently co-ordinated, by all relevant Government departments and agencies,” the report states. “There is no point in setting economic targets for growth in manufacturing unless the other necessary initiatives, e.g. education, R&D and financial framework regulation are being simultaneously implemented.”
For a soft copy of the Academy’s report, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (01) 665 1337.http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2013/11/27/government-must-co-ordinate-efforts-to-bolster-manufacturing/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/manuf-1024x680.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/manuf-300x300.jpgNewsgovernment,manufacturing