Engineering and Manufacturing

How strong is the manufacturing sector in the UK?

The Midlands have always been at the heart of the UK’s manufacturing sector. However, recent years have tested the resolve of manufacturers, investors, and government. Despite the financial and political turmoil, the sector still remains strong. In fact, the government has recognized the importance of the manufacturing sector in the Midlands by announcing expansion zones and investment. Is this to help keep Britain’s economy as healthy as possible in the coming years?

Where we stand

The manufacturing sector in the UK currently directly employs close to 3 million people. These employees will also be providing a living for thousands of other businesses. On top of products produced for the domestic market, UK manufacturing is also responsible for 45% of all exports. Despite the people in the manufacturing sector earning an average wage of £32,500, the UK is still the ninth largest manufacturer in the world by output. Much of our success in manufacturing is attributed to our highly skilled workforce.

Why the future is bright

As well as having many long-established and highly successful companies in the Midlands, the current opportunities for new businesses are more exciting than ever.

These opportunities are one of the reasons why the government is actively promoting manufacturing in the Midlands. They are investing heavily in the food manufacturing sector, the space sector, and streamlining the usual barriers for businesses looking to set-up in new industrial zones.

Part of the reason for this activity is the need to expand how much we export in order to secure our economy beyond Brexit. However, the fact this is happening at this moment in history is fortuitous for the UK. Not only are we seeing massive leaps in automation, which creates more skilled positions, but we are also seeing disruption in many sectors that can be capitalised upon.

One such area is the energy sector. Alternative means of power production have always been in demand in remote areas and for businesses such as farms or data centres, where any sort of downtime can be critical to the operation. However, recent innovations and the rising cost of traditional energy supply have led to a much wider market opening up for solar, generator, and wind energy production. This is a global trend that’s still in its infancy. Energy manufacturers that act now have a world of customers that’s expanding every month.

We all need to push in the same direction

The government investment in the Midlands is a great start to what could be the future of the UK’s economy. Manufacturers just need to be aware of the opportunities available and brave enough to move into new areas with massive potential for growth.

The UK’s manufacturing sector is forecast to enjoy continued growth, and recent dips in the pound make exporting more attractive than ever. Being the ninth largest manufacturer in the world by output is great, but the current disruption in so many sectors means there are massive gains to be made if we invest in the right ways, so why settle for ninth when we could be in the top 5?

This article was written by Graham Chapman – Owner of – Specialists off-grid power systems based in the midlands.