Page last updated at 12:21 GMT, Friday, 27 February 2009

PM says Oxford Mini future safe

Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown on BBC Oxford said the Mini's future is safe

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said he will do what he can to help the BMW Mini plant in Oxford create more jobs.

Some 850 agency workers who lost their jobs at the factory are due to collect their final pay cheque on Friday.

Speaking on BBC Oxford Mr Brown said: "I believe that the BMW Mini car has a very good future.

"I hope that we can get back to a situation where the demand for cars will rise in such a way that people can have more jobs in Oxford."

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Mr Brown said the car industry had been hit by a downturn in the car loan market and falling sales.

"Whatever the short-term difficulties we can see this car plant here in Oxford flourish in the future.

"We will do what we can to help the workers who have lost their jobs get jobs."

Mr Brown was in Oxford to give the Romanes Lecture on science and set out his ambition to boost the number of state pupils taking single-subject science within five years.

He said: "The time has come to build a society that seeks high-value engineering not financial engineering."

Currently 32% of state schools offer single-subject science but Mr Brown wants that to increase to 90% by 2014.

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