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