Adam Thompson: Labour's Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Erewash

Adam Thompson

Adam talking to Sateba UK employees, wearing high-vis jackets and hard hats

Rebuilding our manufacturing base in the East Midlands

Having been the Labour candidate in Erewash for just shy of two years, many in Erewash now know me for my role as a Labour politician. However, I am perhaps less well-known for the past ten years of my career working in manufacturing engineering.

For those who don’t know, my day job involves teaching degree-level apprenticeships in electromechanical engineering at the University of Nottingham, while my previous role at the university was as a research fellow. Over nine years, I worked as a PhD student, research fellow, and ultimately as a senior research fellow, conducting research in manufacturing metrology at the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing at the university. In this role, I designed advanced measurement tools for use in the manufacturing industry and spent a huge volume of time engaging with universities, research institutes, and industry across the manufacturing sector. I gained a deep knowledge of advanced manufacturing and a solid understanding of the sector’s needs that I hope will come in great use to our region as we move forward towards a Labour government, under which I am a member of parliament.

As the birthplace of the industrial revolution, Britain used to be the greatest manufacturing nation in the world. Manufacturing made us a superpower, and built us up as one of the most important economies on the planet. The East Midlands has long been the heart of Britain’s manufacturing industry, with our universities acting as the international powerhouses that fuel the great industrial makers of our region, from giants such as Rolls Royce to the smallest specialist SMEs who support the wider industry.

Adam talking to a Sateba UK employee, wearing high vis jackets and hard hats, in a factory

It is no secret that our traditional manufacturing base has declined over the past 40 years or so as we, as a nation, focused more heavily on financial services to support our economy, and increasingly outsourced manufacturing to other countries that could produce goods more cheaply.

What is perhaps less well-known is that Britain has continued to lead in the development of manufacturing technologies, despite decline of the traditional base and the current lack of a clear industrial strategy. Our universities, research institutes (such as the High Value Manufacturing Catapult) and industries are capable of making things that no one else can – we pioneer technologies here that no other nation can match.

However, our manufacturing sector is at risk, and I hear time and again about how this Conservative government’s lack of an industrial strategy hurts the industry, how the their failure to think long term has bred chaos and insecurity that actively harms our industry.

It is for this reason that I am so glad, as a candidate, to support Jonathan Reynolds MP’s commitment to the creation of a robust industrial strategy. We are committed to creating “a new industrial strategy created in partnership with business to maximise Britain’s strengths in life sciences, digital, creative, financial industries, clean power and automotive sectors” (Labour’s mission to Get Britain building Again). This plan supports everything I hear my colleagues in the advanced manufacturing sector crying out for.

An industrial robot

Last week, it was great to host a collision of my two professional worlds, as several of my Labour candidate colleagues from across the region came to the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing to discuss the manufacturing industry, science, apprenticeships, challenges, successes, and much more. It was a pleasure showing my colleagues some of the work I do in my day job and showing some of my colleagues the work I do outside of work. We talked about everything from optimising robots drilling holes in aircraft fuselages to the employment status of doctoral researchers, and I was thoroughly heartened to see my colleagues engaging deeply in the issues faced by our manufacturing industry.

Similarly, this week, I had the pleasure of visiting Sateba UK (formerly Stanton Precast) to formally open their expanded precast concrete factory on the former Stanton Ironworks location. Sateba and their predecessor businesses have existed in Erewash for over a century, and while we in Erewash all know the history Stanton Ironworks well, far fewer of us are aware of the industrial heritage surrounding concrete structure manufacturing. I really enjoyed going to support this crucial UK manufacturer, who is currently creating the concrete tunnels that will form large portions of the HS2 line from London to Birmingham.

If I am elected as the MP for Erewash in the upcoming general election, it will be my mission to champion our manufacturing sector in Erewash and the wider UK. We have so much to offer from an incredible sector that this government is not currently supporting – only Labour has the commitment to an industrial strategy that will truly allow our country to grow.

Adam with other East Midlands Labour candidates and University of Nottingham employees standing in front of a robot