Margareta Pagano: Get Sugar off TV and Dyson into our classrooms

It's fantastic news that BMW is investing another £500m to build the next generation of Minis, a move that will protect 5,000 jobs for many years.

Coming just days after Nissan said it would invest another £200m and so soon after Tata's decision to build another Land Rover Jaguar plant, this is excellent evidence that the UK's automotive industry is speeding again.

So it's imperative that this vote of confidence by foreign manufacturers should not be undermined by the gloomy prognosis elsewhere in the economy. Of course consumer confidence and retailing is tough – households are still restructuring their own deficits and the latest price hikes in electricity are going to make this even tougher.

Attempts to rebalance the economy away from the froth of finance towards manufacturing was always going to be painful, but those efforts seem to be paying off. Manufacturing output dipped slightly from March to April but the outlook is bright. Figures last week from EEF, the manufacturers trade body, show recruitment intentions have never been higher and that growth is running at a booming 3.2 per cent this year.

Vacancies were up 60 per cent last year and nearly a third of all growth came from manufacturing in the past year although the sector represents just 13 per cent of output. A quarter of manufacturers say they will employ more staff this year on a net basis.

Yet, there's a big problem – we don't have enough skilled workers to fill all the vacancies. EEF warns of an acute skills shortage across all manufacturing for thousands and thousands of jobs from those which require the most basic NVQ skills to ones which need PhDs. This is astonishing when you consider there are thousands of youngsters aged between 18 and 24 without work.

What's gone so wrong? Well, it's a shortage which existed well before the recession but has worsened because no one anticipated quite how strong the recovery would be. As EEF's economist Lee Hopley puts it, the pipeline for training engineers was cracked years ago and how we fill the void is the real crisis facing industry.

This has been caused by two problems. First, manufacturers can't find enough 14 to 19-year-olds with the right skills due to poor teaching in subjects such as science and maths. Second, there aren't enough youngsters interested in manufacturing simply because they are not given good advice at school where careers guidance is notoriously hopeless, particularly the Connexions service which is a disgrace. I have teenagers at school and know that engineers or inventors are never invited in for talks. Nor have I ever come across careers fairs where local manufacturers have been present.

There is so much which can be done to change the culture towards science again. Why aren't teenagers being taken on visits to see some of our latest state-of-the-art factories (Bentley in Crewe would be a brilliant place to start) rather than yet another museum?

If the Government is serious about boosting manufacturing – and I believe it is – then it must go to the root of the problem. This can only be done once it accepts the culture and infrastructure must be overhauled. We need to train a new generation of good science teachers, boost FE and technical colleges and persuade UK's manufacturers to get out on the road selling their wares. Time for Lord Sugar to get off our screens and people like Sir James Dyson to get into the classroom.

London listing authority must move swiftly to salvage its listings reputation

Sir Richard Sykes is right. If London is to hold on to its reputation as one of the world's greatest markets, then the UK Listing Authority must move swiftly to tighten up its listing requirements and corporate governance.

At present, companies – both domestic and overseas – are required to list a minimum of 25 per cent of their shares if they seek a full listing. However, companies and their advisers are able to argue that exceptions can be made, which is why so many companies have been able to list with a smaller free float (shares that are actually available to investors).

In the case of ENRC, advisers were able to list the Kazakh mining giant with only 18 per cent of the shares being floated. But, as Sir Richard says, the danger signals were there from the beginning, as the majority of shares were held by a small number of powerful investors. Sir Richard was one of four independent directors on the 14-man board, but even so he says they found it impossible to persuade the other Kazakh directors to follow the rules. It's a pity that someone as experienced as Sir Richard wasn't able to tough it out.

Many overseas companies have already found it difficult to find good "independent" directors to bolster their corporate governance and they are going to find it even harder after watching this latest coup. Even those directors who may have been tempted to take on such roles for the money will be put off.

But there's another, much bigger issue brewing which the City needs to address. Criticism is now at fever pitch over the way investment bankers have been dumping big issues on the London market as they attempt to cream off fees. Buy-side firms, such as the giant BlackRock, are furious at the way bankers are valuing the shares of new companies far too high and that the book-running syndicates of investment banks have too much power and have become too large.

It is odd how criticisms like this only ever emerge when times are tough and it's hard to make even a few basis points. But if the City wants to stay ahead for the next bull market, it needs a clean-up.

IMF chief-elect: A fitness fanatic it would be foolish to mess with

Barring last-minute scandals or a last-minute pitch, Mme Christine Lagarde looks set to cruise into the hot seat as the next chairman of the IMF. Nominations closed on Friday and, following the withdrawal of Grigory Marchenko, governor of Kazakhstan's central bank, Lagarde will go through unopposed. It's a great result as France's finance minister is the most accomplished candidate to have emerged during the campaign, and it's a credit to those who wanted the next IMF boss to come from an emerging country that they have come on side. Let's hope the fractured politics of the IMF don't distract her. I doubt it – the 55-year-old is a strict vegetarian and fitness fanatic who never drinks a drop of alcohol. Watch out, boys.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
Arts and Entertainment
Ella Henderson's first studio album has gone straight to the top of the charts
music
News
<p>Jonathan Ross</p>
<p>Jonathan Ross (or Wossy, as he’s affectionately known) has been on television and radio for an extraordinarily long time, working on a seat in the pantheon of British presenters. Hosting Friday Night with Jonathan Ross for nine years, Ross has been in everything from the video game Fable to Phineas and Ferb. So it’s probably not so surprising that Ross studied at Southampton College of Art (since rebranded Southampton Solent), a university known nowadays for its media production courses.</p>
<p>However, after leaving Solent, Ross studied History at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, now part of the UCL, a move that was somewhat out of keeping with the rest of his career. Ross was made a fellow of the school in 2006 in recognition of his services to broadcasting.</p>
TV

Rumours that the star wants to move on to pastures new

Life and Style
fashion
News
Paul Nuttall, left, is seen as one of Ukip's key weapons in selling the party to the North of England
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Russell Brand labelled 'left-wing commie scum' by Fox News
TV
Arts and Entertainment
BBC's Antiques Roadshow uncovers a TIE fighter pilot helmet from the 1977 Star Wars film, valuing it at £50,000
TV

TV presenter Fiona Bruce seemed a bit startled by the find during the filming of Antiques Roadshow

News
people

Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Steven Caulker of QPR scores an own goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Liverpool
football
Arts and Entertainment
artKaren Wright tours the fair and wishes she had £11m to spare
News
i100
Life and Style
Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh been invited to take part in Women Fashion Power, a new exhibition that celebrates the way women's fashion has changed in relation to their growing power and equality over the past 150 years
fashionKirsty and Camila swap secrets about how to dress for success
Arts and Entertainment
Joy Division photographed around Waterloo Road, Stockport, near Strawberry Studios. The band are Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Stephen Morris (drums and percussion), Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals).
booksNew book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Operational Risk Manager - Asset Management

£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...

Project Coordinator - 12 month contract

£27000 - £32000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large charity ...

IT Operations Manager - London - £55,000

£50000 - £55000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Relationship M...

Banking Solicitor NQ+

Highly Attractive Salary : Austen Lloyd: NOTTINGHAM - BRILLIANT FIRM - You wil...

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past