We definitely have the skills Mick. I personally know of 20 to 30 British engineers working abroad in Chine USA and across Europe who cant get similar work or pay in this country. We (in the past) have bred some of the best Engineers and Scientists in the world. Unfortunately the UK has lost them, they are chasing the $ but would happily return to chase the £ if it were here.
15 odd years ago I was working in an engine plant 200 miles north of Shanghai. I asked for a compressed air feed to our machine and watch a Chinese pipe fitter throw a rope over the top of a roof truss. He tied it off to a forktruck, climbed the rope (wearing indoor slippers) done a bit of grinding and cutting (No PPE) and completed the job. I asked our interpreter what happens when these people fall out of the sky. Her answer was "we just send another one up the rope". We cant possibly compete with China so, the only way I can see around it is to change the British psychi, as the germans did following WW2. Your Erick will go out of his way to buy German made goods if available. It's why there manufacturing plants are all over Europe and the world (apart from china and a couple of other places). Siemans or Grob or Tyssen Krupp would rather buy from a German competitor than buy foriegn.
I agree Mick, it's not going to happen.