Baroness Prosser OBE identifies apprenticeships, innovation and research as the key areas of success for UK manufacturing, having spent 18 days with different organisations around the UK.
Baroness Prosser found out more during her Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) Fellowship focusing on manufacturing with an emphasis on skills, the labour market and hi-tech manufacturing used in the retail and fashion sector.
Baroness Prosser joined the Fellowship programme to aid her ability to speak in the House on a variety of issues surrounding manufacturing using up to date examples. To do this she visited organisations ranging from Marks and Spencer to 3M, and Royal Mail to Sellafield. Her time with all the organisations highlighted to her the needs of the companies and the sector more widely. A number of these organisations indicated the increasing importance of apprenticeships.
Manufacturing has been a longstanding feature of the UK economy and now more than ever it is changing into a more hi-tech industry. Baroness Prosser witnessed this first hand during her visit to the Royal Mail, Mount Pleasant site, as they are in the process of installing automatic sorting machines in all of their offices.
Baroness Prosser completed her IPT Fellowship in 2015, and was awarded with her Fellowship cartoon at the Christmas reception to signify this.
Baroness Prosser said “Investment in research, encouragement of employees to use some work time to experiment on new ideas, a commitment to apprenticeships are all hallmarks of a good company.”
Recalling her time at Royal Mail, Baroness Prosser noted, “The changes that Royal Mail have made to its business model in the last few years highlight how tough the business world can be and how important it is to be able to adapt to changing consumer trends and technologies.”
· The Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) is a registered charity dedicated to promoting mutual understanding between Parliament, business, industry and commerce for the public benefit. This is achieved by encouraging dialogue between legislators and wealth generators from all sectors of business. The IPT is independent, non-partisan and non-lobbying.
· Fellowships are bespoke placements in industry for MPs, MEPs and peers structured around a set of learning objectives dictated by each parliamentarian at the beginning of their programme. Fellowships are non-lobbying, non-partisan and educational in ethos and are supported across Parliament. There are currently 67 parliamentarians undertaking a Fellowship. There have been over 500 Fellows since the IPT was founded in 1977.
· Baroness Prosser visited BASF, British Fashion Council, Caterpillar, McCain Food, Sellafield, EA technology group, 3M, Royal Mail, M&S