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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Jaguar Land Rover calls for investment in innovation

Tata-owned luxury car maker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has called on the British government to boost investment in innovation and education to speed up the economic recovery, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.

JLR warned a lack of finance for manufacturing companies and a shortage of engineering graduates would result in Britain losing its competitive advantage.

Britain ranked 17th in a table of how much countries invest in research and development as a percentage of gross domestic product, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The Telegraph quoted JLR executive director Mike Wright as saying: “It is investment in innovation that will make the difference to the growth in the UK economy.

“We recognise that Government has been working on these issues but if we are to rebalance and grow the UK economy, we need a continued focus on Government investment support for R&D, improved supplier access to finance – especially for small and medium size enterprises – and support for more engineering studies and skills-training.”

The Bank of England and policymakers have stressed the importance of boosting the manufacturing and exports sector and moving away from debt-financed spending as a way of overcoming the recession.

Mr Wright said that JLR was already making a significant contribution, exporting around 85pc of its products and having created more than 9,000 new jobs and invested almost £10bn in the British supply chain over the past two years.

He added, however, that the company required Britain to deliver a high quality and up-to-date technical education so that young people could join the industry with relevant skills.

“If we don’t do something about it, the sector is going to run out of good quality engineers which can’t be the right thing,” Mr Wright said.

“If schools can promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects and offer every pupil the opportunity to develop knowledge of electronics, systems and computer-aided design, they will better reflect modern industry. This will also help to inspire and encourage them to consider a career in engineering and manufacturing."

- UKAsian Staff

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