MAKE UK, the manufacturers’ organisation, has worked with the manufacturing industry to set out a manifesto to the next UK Government.
You can download the full report from the Make UK website here, but we wanted to pull out and share some key points that caught our attention.
Moving up the ranks
The UK is now the 8th largest manufacturer in the world, up one place on last year and overtaking our neighbours across the Channel, France. This is no mean feat given the challenges industry has faced following Covid-19 and various shortages in supply chains. It is even more positive when combined with other statistics such as manufacturing companies accounting for almost half of the UK’s exports, making it the UK’s largest individual export producing industry.
For us, we look forward to increasing the number of products we ship internationally and are grateful for the weight Made in Britain carries, demonstrating trusted and quality manufactured products.
However, the manifesto highlights that the UK needs to match its counterpart countries in developing an industrial strategy if it is to continue up the ranks and reach even 7th position.
Recognising the sector’s role in skills development
There are a number of references to skills within the report, including a section discussing the fall in apprenticeships and the role the apprenticeship levy has had in this. But for us, a key takeaway statement regards addressing the transforming job roles and impact of automation and the importance to upskill and reskill workforces.
“We must create a future fit talent pipeline to power manufacturing and engineering into the future.”
For more than 5 years we have implemented and have been developing our apprenticeship programme, we value the skills of the people we employ and are proud to have a workforce that largely heralds from our local Hartlepool area. And a number of our apprentices have gone on to full time positions within the company.
We’re also addressing the skills of our wider workforce and support a number of employees with achieving additional qualifications. In addition, we have launched a leadership and mentoring programme which is seeing some real success.
Expand and extend Made Smarter is a rallying call
As recent benefactor of the Made Smarter initiative, which supported the purchase of our first cobot – more on that here – we echo calls to offer wider support to the manufacturing industry to enable innovation and digital adoption through Made Smarter.
What would it take for your business to be part of the 8 in 10 businesses digitalising their factories and reaping the benefits? The manifesto suggests access to programmes such as Made Smarter should be improved and a new programme should be created to give businesses tailored advice to unlock their growth potential.
We’ve highlighted just a few areas of the report and discussed how they relate to us as a manufacturer of expanded metal, a process that our company founder first patented in 1884. So, as a business that is almost 140 years strong, know a thing or two about the importance of innovation and skills development.
Find out more about our history and where we see future growth here: https://www.expandedmetalcompany.com/about-us
And explore our product range here: https://www.expandedmetalcompany.com/products