Manufacturing is hugely important to Scotland’s economy, accounting for over half of our international exports and employing nearly 190,000 people across the country.
In government, the SNP is working to make sure we have an innovative manufacturing industry that creates high-skilled, well-paid jobs into the future.
Here’s just some of the action we’re taking.
Protecting Scottish industry
With government assistance a new buyer was found for the Ferguson shipyard in Port Glasgow - the last commercial shipbuilder on the Clyde. The first of two new hybrid ferries to be built at the Ferguson yard have now been launched, the first of their kind in Scotland and the rest of the UK
When Scotland’s only steel plants faced closure, decisive action taken by the Scottish Government secured a new owner, and the steelworks at Dalzell and Clydebridge have reopened.
A new buyer for the UK’s last aluminium smelter - based in Fort William - was secured last year, supporting new jobs and investment.
And the future for BiFAB in Fife and Lewis looks bright, after the company was saved from administration and a buyer found - with the Scottish Government taking a stake in the company.
Investing in research and development
We will continue to support and invest in the ingenuity of Scotland’s manufacturers, which account for half of our research and development spend. We will increase public sector support for business research and development by 70 per cent, meaning an additional £45 million of support over three years.
Supporting companies to grow
We have begun work to establish a Scottish National Investment Bank, to provide patient capital for growth and to support our overall economic strategy.
A new Strategic Board will ensure enterprise and skills agencies work together to support businesses in key sectors, like manufacturing to grow. We are also setting up a new South of Scotland development agency to boost growth in the region.
A £65 million National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland
We have invested £8.9 million in a Lightweight Manufacturing Centre in Renfrew, as a first step towards the establishment of a National Manufacturing Institute in Renfrewshire. The new Centre will support highly skilled jobs and help put Scotland at the forefront of lightweight manufacturing.
This is a major, transformative project being developed by the Scottish Government and Strathclyde University, alongside the Scottish Research Partnership in Engineering, enterprise agencies, Skills Development Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council and the private sector.
Developing the skilled workforce of the future
Research shows that 65 per cent of children in preschool today will work in jobs or careers that don’t yet exist. So, we have developed a Scottish STEM strategy to ensure, from the earliest age, children are alive to the opportunities that science, technology, engineering and maths can offer them. Read more about our action on STEM education and training here.
Investing in greener, smarter manufacturing
We have established an £18 million Circular Economy Investment Fund, which offers investment for small and medium sized businesses to deliver a more circular economy. Scotland is already leading the way on moving to a circular economy - where we try to keep materials in use for as long as possible.
A new £60 million Low Carbon Innovation Fund will also support the development of low carbon energy infrastructure, such as electricity battery storage, sustainable heating systems and electric vehicle charging.
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