A GOVERNMENT minister defended Labour's record on backing UK manufacturing in the wake of the Syngenta job losses.
Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram said Labour had provided a stable economy for UK firms to prosper.
He was speaking during a visit to gear manufacturer David Brown's Lockwood factory yesterday.
Said Mr Ingram: "Clearly, there are global issues affecting firms, but since we got into government, our commitment has been to make the UK economy stronger to give manufacturing the best opportunity for the future.
"Our membership of the European Union is also important in all this - and we are increasingly looking to help firms break into new markets."
Colne Valley MP Kali Mountford, who was accompanying Mr Ingram, said: "It is devastating when people lose their jobs, but employment has gone up and incomes are rising overall. In most cases, people are finding new jobs within months, thanks to the help available for retraining."
Mr Ingram praised the workforce at David Brown, part of US-owned industrial giant Textron, which makes key parts for military vehicles and warships, including gears for the British Army's Challenger tank.
During his tour of the Park Works site, Mr Ingram saw work on several Ministry of Defence contracts.
He was accompanied by company directors Scot Tran, Graham Penning and Mark Hollingworth as well as Craig Gooding, general manager and vice-president of engineering projects.
Mr Gooding said: "We are delighted that Mr Ingram is here.
We have talked to him about our long-term plans and demonstrated the world-class skills we have on offer."