No cutbacks in regional advisors under national MAS

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A new national Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) will not lead to a cutback in regional MAS advisors, WM has learned.

However, redundancies could be made among MAS back office and support staff, an insider revealed. The potential shake up comes after the Manufacturing Advisory Consortium (MAC) secured a three year contract to run MAS from January 2012. A MAC member told WM: "We recognise that one of the real benefits to clients is the manufacturing advisor function and we're committed to keeping the total number of advisors." He added: "We also recognise that by moving from nine regions into one organisation that there are opportunities in the back office to optimise some of the costs. We'll have to look at that." MAS services in England are currently offered through a network of 9 regional centres. The new MAC operated service could operate around four geographical areas Including the North &West England and East England, WM understands. However, MAC pledged to maintain heavy regional control of services. "In terms of how MAS interacts with clients, we will work with SMEs as we have done previously. It will be the same kind of service going forward." MAC has pledged to deliver £1.5b in economic growth and create 23,000 jobs under the latest MAS contract. The consortium is formed from Grant Thornton, Pera, WM Manufacturing Consortium and SWMAS.