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Dr Carmen Torres

Loughborough Reader witness at UK Trade and Business Commission Inquiry

Dr Carmen Torres-Sanchez, Reader in Multifunctional Materials Manufacturing at the Wolfson School, was a witness at the UK Trade and Business Commission Inquiry that took place on 27 January 2022.

The inquiry was on ‘Protecting UK Manufacturing in a Global Supply Chain’ and was chaired by Paul Girvan MP.

UK manufacturing challenges arising from the pandemic-provoked recession and the trade barriers to the EU were discussed. In particular, investment in UK manufacturing capability at national, regional and local levels, employment and skills, and a shift from large-manufacturing to more specialist, smaller and bespoke productions.

Skills availability and suitability were identified as major requirements to make the UK a competitive player globally. This is one of the reasons why the UK is attractive to international investors and is needed to continue creating an ecosystem where a supply chain of industries and new technologies support the manufacturing core.

During the session, Dr Torres said: “The UK is renowned as a powerhouse when it comes to education and we attract students from all over the world. Both home and international students are trained in very advanced technologies here.

“We need them to want to stay in the UK to push innovation and productivity forward. If we don’t have the manufacturing sector and enabling technologies that can offer jobs, they will have no incentive to stay to develop their careers here, so they will go to other countries and continents, and flourish elsewhere.”

Oher witnesses included Professor Jill MacBryde from Strathclyde University, Jack Semple on behalf of the Manufacturing Technologies Association and Simon Collingwood from the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield.

The recording of the session can be viewed here