Wake-up call

As a senior engineer of some 30 years’ experience I was heartened by your editorial ‘Why we can’t do without engineers’ (Comment, 16 June).

During my time I have both witnessed and felt the pain of the systematic decimation of our once great industry by our short-sighted governments, both Conservative and Labour.

We once dominated the globe in innovation, expertise and quality, and were respected by all nations. I, along with many others, am aghast at why we have let it all go so cheaply and easily.

There are some who were critical of our once-great industries, such as automotive, agricultural, shipbuilding, rolling stock and coal and steel. But now that these have been handed to foreign owners — who then take the product technology and leave behind a shell — what is left to prevent an increasing trade deficit from ruining the nation?

Am I missing something here? If we are not manufacturing anything, then how does the country function and flourish? Answers on a postcard please.

There are only a finite number of people able to fill jobs within the service industries, whereas those with manual skills and ability are being forgotten.

Cynicism apart, a growth in manufacturing of 0.1 per cent is very welcome amid bleak predictions for our futures.

Now that the UK economy has hit the skids perhaps, finally, this may be a wake-up call for government to actually promote and invest in the latent skills of the people of this once great nation.

Paul MacLean

Joerns Healthcare

Stourbridge, West Midlands