DAVID Cameron is launching a drive to reverse the trend of “offshoring”, which has seen thousands of UK jobs shifted to low-cost countries in the East over recent years.
The Prime Minister believes cheap energy from shale gas and a pro-business regulatory climate could be keys to attracting firms to move posts back to the UK and make Britain the “re-shore nation”.
According to Government figures, 1,500 manufacturing jobs have returned to the UK since 2011, and Business Secretary Vince Cable is today launching a new service called Reshore UK to help firms do the same.
Speaking to the World Economic Forum in Swiss ski resort Davos, Mr Cameron will acknowledge that companies will continue moving production to countries like India and China, but will insist the West should not be “written off”. Citing recent research which found that one in 10 small and medium-sized businesses have brought production back to the UK over the last year – twice as many as have sent it abroad – he will say reshoring could become “a fresh driver of growth in Europe”.
“I want Britain to seize these opportunities,” he will say. “I think there is a chance for Britain to become the ‘re-shore nation’.”
Companies which have brought jobs back to the UK include food manufacturer Symington’s, which is moving its factory from China to Leeds, model train firm Hornby, which is shifting some manufacturing from India to Britain, and fashion brand Jaeger which is bringing 10 per cent of its manufacturing back to Britain after a 15-year absence, said Downing Street.
Mr Cable said: “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.”