In an interview (The Daily Telegraph Personal view: Science is key to how we add value and create wealth 24 May 2006) chief executive of Rolls-Royce Sir John Rose said, “There are only three ways of creating wealth. You dig it up, grow it, or convert it to add value, anything else is merely moving it about. In a high-wage economy you must focus on high converted-value activities. To achieve high converted value you need good education and differentiating skills.”
The German chairman of an iconic marque tells Sean O'Grady why he's looking pleased. (The Independent, Motoring p. 6, 25th July 2006.)
'However he is perturbed about events closer to home:
"I'm not going to criticise the Government,” said Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen, chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors, “but overall, the attitude in this country to having everything moving into services is not the right approach…. Maybe a good idea is to move over into segments where you need more skilled people making more sophisticated products. We have no problem cost-wise or in finding the right people to do that.“
Strange, isn't it, that a German business man cares more about the state of manufacturing than our own Government.'
When we look at the convulsions in the financial markets it is fascinating to see the UK government is having to put much resource into unsticking the markets, especially for house mortgages, enabling them to start moving it about again; unfortunately the banks are slow to react positively as reported here.
Maybe Messrs Rose and Paefgen have a point, especially when we read that the gross value added in manufacturing at £42,100 is around £8,000 higher than the GVA of the service sector. Not that manufacturing sector has not got a service element that is crucial to its success. Seems like we need to dig it up, grow it, or convert it to add value, but also be great at moving it about. After all, as we noted above, the building industry is stalled at the moment due to the freezing of finance available for personal mortgages. So digging, growing, or converting things needs a financial lubricant to keep things going, just not too much or everything can get out of sync!