26 Apr 2018 Manufacturing is a Cornerstone of the UK Economy – Martyn Ingram, Group Director
2018 is already proving to be a good year for manufacturing. Major new investment pledges have come from European car manufacturing giants into their UK based manufacturing plants, aerospace firm Meggit has just been granted planning permission to build its £130m new West Midlands base, Oxfordshire-based Reaction Engines is set to expand after securing £26.5m investment from Rolls-Royce and Boeing to develop its hypersonic engines - and a new report from the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) shows that manufacturing accounts for 23 percent of the UK’s GDP.
Of course, the underlying statistic from the Oxford Economics study is more revealing - more than 7.4 million jobs depend on British manufacturing. These statistics will be an eye-opener for many, with the figures most frequently quoted on this topic falling far short of these numbers.
So, in fact, for every £1 million the manufacturing sector contributes to GDP, another £1.5 million is created elsewhere in the UK economy, and for each direct job within the sector, another 1.8 are supported elsewhere. Another head-turning figure from the report shows that manufacturing accounts for almost 70 percent of all R&D spending in the UK and that on average, manufacturing workers take home almost 20 percent more than other workers.
What strikes me most strongly about this report is the fact that it should help us see our industry through fresh eyes and to present it positively to young people who are plotting their career course. Yes, there are larger sectors and industries in Britain, but manufacturing is a foundation stone of our economy and it is thriving. Manufacturing profitability rose to 15.8 percent in the 4th quarter of 2017, the second highest point on record according to latest ONS figures. The sector is robust in the face of economic uncertainties and it is a teeming with innovation. Why not join us?