Almost 600,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost across the UK in the past decade, a new study reveals.
The “massive” fall of 17% means that £2.3 billion less has been paid in manufacturing wages in real terms.
In 2007, the UK supported 3.5 million permanent and temporary manufacturing jobs, more than 12% of the all British employment, but by 2016 that had slumped to 2.9 million, or 9.2% of the total, said the GMB union.
Every region in the UK has experienced a decline in manufacturing employment.
Three badly affected regions - London, Scotland and the North West - have lost 27%, 22% and 21% of their manufacturing jobs respectively, the study shows.
The worst affected region by total job losses - the North West - lost 93,500 manufacturing jobs.
Jude Brimble, GMB national officer, said: “We are at a critical crossroads in UK manufacturing.
“The right support for our manufacturing sector would accelerate growth, address the skills gap and provide much provide a much-needed boost to technology, production and exports.
“A robust manufacturing base post-Brexit is vital for the UK economy, workers and local communities.
“The continuing decline in jobs is a result in this Government’s failure to deliver the certainty the industry needs.
“It begs the question; how does this add up to the Prime Minister’s commitments that the UK’s post-Brexit arrangements must protect people’s jobs and security?”