chapter  14
Erosion from Above, Erosion from Below: Labour, Value Chain Relegation and Manufacturing Sustainability
ByMichael Taylor, John Bryson
Pages 14

The purpose of this chapter is to analyse the pressures of an increasingly complex and turbulent economic environment on the manufacturing sector and its enterprises in the West Midlands region of the UK, and to discuss the implications of this for labour, especially in relation to skills formation. The heart of the region is the Birmingham and Black Country Conurbation which extends east to include Coventry and northwest to include Stoke on Trent. The pressures that confront this longstanding and once dynamic regional economy include the imperatives of global competition, the distinctive pressures of a national and regional economy dominated by large firms, all too frequently inappropriate government policies, and growing labour market problems. Currently, all these problems are exacerbated by nearly two years of recession.