Councillor Antony Mullen, the Leader of the Sunderland Conservatives, has written to Business Secretary Alok Sharma over concerns about post-COVID skills shortages in the manufacturing sector.
Cllr Mullen was contacted by a Sunderland resident who runs a recruitment company which specialises in sourcing talent for the automotive sector. The resident raised concerns about the potential for workers to leave the sector if there is an economic downtown and shared worries about the impact of companies making savings by scrapping apprenticeships.
Antony shared these concerns and, in writing to Mr Sharma, emphasised the importance of the automotive manufacturing sector to the regional economy. The letter asks the Business Secretary for assurances that there would be support to help the sector bounce back after the impact of COVID-19 – particularly by ensuring that apprenticeship places would be protected.