PUBLIC SECT0R: DTI to boost chemical sector image

The Government has launched a fresh bid to help the UK chemicals

industry boost its image.



The Department of Trade and Industry is ploughing £160,000 into a

three-year reputation enhancing project for its trade body, the

Chemicals Industries Association (CIA).



The project includes the creation of the role of reputation manager at

the association.



The postholder's key task is to improve relations between companies and

communities.



CIA head of communications John Boler, to whom the reputation manager

will report, said this relationship had deteriorated in recent years

because of job losses and staff no longer living near to sites.



In the past 12 years, 100,000 jobs have been lost in the industry,

according to CIA figures. It now employs around 250,000 people.



Boler said: 'The industry, to some, has appeared remote. We felt more

work could be done to deal with this.'



The reputation manager will also assist companies in improving their own

community liaison projects.



A recent public consultation exercise carried out by the CIA showed that

one area of improvement was to organise more site visits.



It is hoped that the reputation manager will be in place by January.



The postholder will join a 12-strong communications and media relations

team.



The project is being overseen by CIA director of people, knowledge and

communication Dr Anil Kumar.



Earlier this year the body appointed agency Key Communications to help

promote chemical companies as an important part of British industry and

to get the message of improved environmental and safety controls across

to the public.



Announcing the DTI funding, science and innovation minister, Lord

Sainsbury said: 'Chemical products underpin the quality of modern life

in everything from plastics to paints and medicine.'



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