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Patricia Hewitt Joins Debate at Warwick on Future of UK Manufacturing

Originally published 5 June 2001

Business leaders will have their first chance to cross examine Patricia Hewit, the new Secretary of State for Trade and Industry as she makes one of her first public appearnces as a Cabinet minister when she joins other key commentators and protagonists in UK manufacturing at the University of Warwick in a special debate asking if there is a future for manufacturing in the UK.

She will join Today Programme presenter John Humphrys who will host a "Question Time" style debate with the other panellists will be: Professor Kumar Bhattacharyya - Director of the Warwick Manufacturing Group at the University of Warwick, Ed Crooks, Economics Editor of the Financial Times, Roger Lyons, General Secretary of the Manufacturing, Science and Finance Union (MSF) and Alan Wood - Chief Executive of Siemens UK plc.

With the projected down turn in the world economy and a recent survey predicting up to 700,000 job losses from manufacturing over the next ten years, "A Future For Manufacturing?" is a timely issue for the 2001 Warwick Debate. The 2001 Warwick Debate: "A Future For Manufacturing?" will take place at the University of Warwick Arts Centre on Wednesday 13 June, 7.00pm before an invited audience of business leaders, politicians and trade unionists. People watching the Debate live on the internet will also be able to put their questions directly to the panel.

Alan Wood, Chief Executive of Siemens UK plc, Chairman of the CBI's Manufacturing Council, and one of the panellists on the evening, says:

 "I am delighted to be taking part in this debate. It is very timely following the formation of the new Government and with the appointment of Patricia Hewitt as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. The evening will give us the opportunity to get the message over that the UK must remain a mixed economy and to dispel the myth that we can survive on services alone. With a concerted effort, from both industry and government, the UK can re-position itself as a world leader in supplying innovative, high value-added products to global markets."

Note for Editors: This year's Warwick Debate has been generously supported by Advantage West Midlands, Birmingham International Airport, the CBI, and Jaguar.On display outside the debate venue will be the new Jaguar X-TYPE sports saloon, which is built at Halewood on Merseyside safeguarding 3,000 jobs and creating 500 new jobs in the new associated supplier park there.

Further information about the above press release and all other media services at the University of Warwick can be obtained from:

Peter Dunn, Press Officer
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7AL
West Midlands
Tel: 024 76 523708