Saturday, March 31, 2007

Job losses continue – we don’t make things anymore!

End of 47 years at Treorchy plant

This week alone: Burberry = 309 (Wales) Solectron electronics = 325 (Wales) Ford = 326 (Midlands) Total = 960 jobs = 960 families

Posted by nearly30 @ 10:21 AM (77 views)
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15 thoughts on “Job losses continue – we don’t make things anymore!

  • Very sad – that’s over 600 good jobs gone in just Wales – the place that most needs this kind of job.

    I’m sorry – but the economy cannot continue if we develop into a purely ‘service-based’ economy.

    That includes financial!!

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  • St Helens glass the company that pioneered double glazing went bust last week, they employed around 350 people and blamed a dramatic fall in demand for double glazing over the last 12months or so. When you think about it you don’t see many double glazing vans around so I guess homeowners are not replacing or upgrading their windows as readily as they were. Is there a lack of confidence in HPI deterring people from investing in their properties or are they just plain skint!

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  • @ennui: on the double-glazing. Big outbreak of it round our gaff about 10 yrs.ago, windows, skylights, anything that could be glazed. Then the council and the innumerable ‘heritage’ quangoes started working for the clampdown. No upvc, only cod-georgian treated timber with bespoke dg units in each light. Cor, ‘at’s gunner cost cha, guv.

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  • japanese uncle says:

    Manufacturing expertise, once gone, will be impossibly difficult to resume, which is why reputable Japanese manufacturers like Toray did not care to do any ‘investment operation’ as such, except for the minimum financial operation needed to run the manufacturing itself. Once financial staff started to be rewarded extra for the return they bring to the company, manufacturing staff will be demoralized, then eventually the whole company will be shifted to a financial operator rather than a manufacturer. Once financial climate turns sour and seems no longer promising, the company cannot return to its original business, because the expertise is gone by then. This is exactly what is going on in this nation as a whole.

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  • Sitting Tight says:

    They could always retrain as ‘Life Coaches’!! – did you see that drivel on tv last night?

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  • Lots of jobs going at the moment – Mine went about a week ago, also several friends have just lost their jobs, however on a positive note the job market does seem reasonably bouyant at the moment. Yes, I was also involved in manufacturing. Out of interest Enuii – I also was involved in the DG industry – and yes the replacement sector is fading out, which only leaves new build still being good. However with about 4000 DG window manufacturers in the UK and changes going on in the indusrty, this number is going to drop big time over the next 5 to 10 years. Competition from Poland, and elsewhere is also starting to hit the UK industry.

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  • Spot on Japanese Uncle, I work in Engineering and have watched the lack of investment reach epidemic proportions. Companies now rely on recruiting graduates, who generally want to be managers rather than engineers rather than train people themselves to suit the needs of their companies. The grasp of engineering basics and their application by the produce of the UK’s universities is quite frankly shocking and I frequently come across graduates who cannot string a coherent sentence together on paper or read an engineering drawing correctly!

    This whole episode of underinvestment started in the late 1980’s as companies shut their investment in training their own people to protect their bottom line and relied on recruiting the huge surplus of existing engineers from the ranks of unemployed. These skilled engineers are now over 40 and the supply is running out and not being replenished with the whole situation being made worse by the lack of manufacturing and heavy engineering companies from which a new generation of skilled can be generated.

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  • This process of de-industrialisation has been going on ever since the industrial revolution ! The problem is, no one can think of what to do instead.
    NuLabour had the right idea about education education education but their attempts to improve it have not been as successful as they wanted (except massaging the exam figures), and social mobility has gone backwards. Luckily there are still plenty of developing countries where people will work for next to nothing and plenty of in-migrants willing to do the crappiest jobs. But such a life of aimless consumption is not very satisfying for the middle classes and it’s a disaster if you are towrads the bottom of the job market.

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  • cyril,

    Are you sure the ‘education, education, education’ is the answer? – in a country where a plumber earns a large multiple of what a university lecturer earn? – and has done so for many years – and where so many graduates end up working for McDonalds or behind bars.

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  • Education, education, education is being used to keep kids off the unemployment list at either their parents or their own expense. Only the academic best used to go to university, now it is used as a tool to keep mediocre students in education, hence large numbers of graduates chasing a few quality jobs where only the best need apply!

    Why do you think the government want to keep all 16year olds technically in education until they are 18 even if it is on courses that only take up 1 day a week! So they can keep them out of the statistics.

    I was shocked when I heard that single people working 20 hours a week could claim Tax Credits and not at all surprised when all the shop assistants in a friend of mines store wanted to drop their hours to 20 a week so they could claim them and be better off! He has now had to hire another two girls to cover for the others who would have left if he turned them down. This whole business is another NuLabor Scam aimed at filling the job market with more low paid low quality jobs and like the education idea another way of massaging statistics.

    Bring on the revolution!

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  • japanese uncle says:

    To be honest, it hardly sounds worthwhile to go to college for ‘degree in hospitality’, (teaching how to open wine bottles), which exists. I am not making up. ‘Education education education’, sounds as hollow as Silky Teflon”s head.

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  • Hechnical Titch says:

    I don’t know what to make of this country any more – it seems if you’re not losing your job close to an election, releasing equity from your house to ‘invest’ in the high street or earning mega bucks in the city, then you’re just a worthless pleb who the government doesn’t give a stuff about. It’d be nice to see Blair et al properly value people who do something productive for the country instead of those who piggy back on them. If we invested in manufacturing research then maybe we could compete with the economies that are taking the work from us. Trouble is those in power seem to only listen to the newspaper owners and those handing out the cheques at the fundraising events..

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  • It seems the way things are going we will all be reliant on the state for our income either on the dole or in a state funded job. When that happens they will have us by the balls.

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  • I cannot agree you more with JU and enuii.

    There is a huge underestimation in Westminster of the importance of manufacturing and the role of engineering. The problem is that manufacturing is only high return through economies of scale and huge capital investment.Once the means of production are gone and the expertise is gone, you’re unlikely ever to get either back.

    And the title of nearly30s post is spot on too. I don’t think the UK has actually produced anything for at least the last 5 years. We think that the city has been but it hasn’t. It’s all just been highly securitised re-investments on thinly capitalised mortgages. In other words, lending and re-lending and investing based on that lending. That’s why the city has been doing so well and the glubberment has been feteing them like flies around poo.

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  • paul – you’re right – the whole ‘financial is the way forward’ is a bit weak if you consider that recessions do happen and when you rely on skimming off profit from trading – you are in a weaker position – and how can you grow that sector well – say 3to5% per year – I doubt you can.

    Not making anything is a real problem – something tangible and that you can sell to the market – the whole ‘value added ‘ economy is a bit flawed IMHO.

    Look at biology – diversity is always the best policy for survival – niches only work when the conditions never change – and when does that every happen???

    The UK is becoming a dinosaur – and the next recession could be the meteor we don’t need right now!!!!!

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