Vince Cable launches 'Made By Britain' initiative

Cable has lain down the gauntlet for the nation's politicos, just as they prepare to take their summer break, calling on the UK's 650 MPs to nominate an example of manufacturing excellence from their constituency.

'Made By Britain' is inspired by the Great Exhibition of 1851, which showcased some of the most exciting technical innovations of the time. Six million people - that's a third of the entire UK population at the time - visited the exhibition that year.

Now 160 years on, Cable hopes that 'Made By Britain' will unearth the cream of Britain's present-day manfacturing crop (just in time for the Olympic Games next year).

Some MPs have hopped to the challange: Grimbsy MP Austin Mitchell has chosen Young's Fish Fingers; Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough MP David Blunkett has opted for Swann-Morton surgical blades; Colne Valley's Jason McCartney has gone for Camira advanced fabrics; and Sheffield Central's Paul Blomfield has selected technology used in the Rolls Royce Trent engine.

Cable says: "With the Olympics bringing so much attention to Britain, this is a fantastic opportunity to show the rest of the world that we make world-beating products."

The timing for this 'Made By Britain' initiative could not be better. The manufacturing industry generates 12% of Britain's GDP and has been touted as a real boon for the British economy as we stagger back from recession.

But Cable believes that the manufacturing industry is still associated with  derelict factories and poorly-paid jobs by the British public. He is keen to use 'Made By Britain' as a platform to publicise Britain's manufacturing prowess: we are still the world's seventh biggest manufacturer. Some of the world's most skilled designers, engineers and fabricators hail from this fair isle.

"British industry remains among the very best for the quality and originality of what it makes," says Cable. "We export goods to every corner of the world, from famous international brands to products which, while less well known, make a real difference to the lives of millions."

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