TWO flagship factories were commended for making their mark on the manufacturing industry during a visit from the Secretary of State for Wales.
David Jones MP toured Airbus in Broughton and JCB Transmissions in Wrexham, where he witnessed the important role the Welsh manufacturing industry has to play in the growth and rebalancing of the economy.
Mr Jones, who met senior executives and workers, said: “The manufacturing business is extremely important to Britain but particularly important to Wales. In the two years to September last year, the growth in manufacturing jobs in Wales rose by 14 per cent but only 1.6 per cent in Great Britain.”
He spoke of the pride he felt at the efforts of Airbus and JCB in boosting the economy.
Mr Jones heard from apprentices about their experiences of industry
Hannah Evans, 21, from Saltney, is in the second year of her apprenticeship at Airbus.
“I wanted to go into the navy and be an aircraft fitter but they had a waiting list of four years,” she said.
“I was in college in Llandrillo and my lecturer told me about Airbus.
“I am really enjoying it. I get paid a wage, which I need as I don’t live at home, and there’s great job security here. Apprenticeships are really important as I wouldn’t have been able to do anything like this.”
She said she hoped the Secretary of State’s visit would spread the word about the courses available.
“Had my lecturer not told me then I wouldn’t have know about it,” Hannah said.
Paul McKinlay, head of the Broughton plant, said: “We get great support from national Government and the Welsh Assembly Government.
“David Cameron was here for the announcement of a deal with AirAsia and the Secretary of State is here today.
“He is a great supporter of the work we do here.
“We have talked about the importance of not only our industry today but protecting it for the future.
“We are delighted to host his visit.”