Engineering - The Way Back

by BVAA Director, Rob Bartlett

BVAA® and VALVEuser® 
are registered trade marks.
"For the future, Britain needs an economy with less financial engineering and more real engineering."

No, not an incisive comment from the humble Editor of this industry journal, but the words of the UK’s Secretary of State for Business, Lord Mandelson, perhaps better known in wider Europe as a former European Commissioner for Trade.

My initial reaction on hearing this ‘Thank goodness, realisation at the top at last.’ Then I realised how cross I was, because this strategy is one that I and many other engineering Trade Association CEOs have been exalting - and repeating - for years!

Engineering and manufacturing in general has been interfered with, pillaged, degraded and latterly ignored by successive Governments. Now the sexy ‘cash cows’ (?) of banking and finance have failed us all, and the UK is set to be a net importer of oil for the first time in decades. We now find ourselves in a position where we need - desperately - industries that take relatively inexpensive raw materials, manipulate them with skills and processes to turn them into valuable products that people want and need. Oh, and handily generate a sustainable profit. It’s not rocket science, although you would be forgiven for believing the concept was recently invented in Whitehall.

The UK has a highly specialised, typically non-commodity valve industry with an enviable reputation for quality and engineering know-how. We continue to buck the trend and have a buoyant market for our products. Despite being a profit generator for UK plc, the valve industry - unlike banking and the motor industry - has received very little in the way of Government support. Imagine what we could all do with the backing of our own Government!

I hope you find this issue of Valve User interesting and informative. Remember, Valve User is your magazine and we always welcome
your input.

Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 9

Summer 2020 // Issue 53
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