The Workers Union is calling on government and industry to come together to make UK manufacturing a top priority.
The news comes as Make UK and the BDO published figures that reveal an uptick in the sector’s growth projections for 2021.
After manufacturers endured a 10 percent drop in output during 2020, nascent signs of recovery mean Make UK have revised their growth estimates up from 2.7 per cent, to 3.9 per cent. This figure is set against the organisation’s new GDP forecast of 5.5 per cent, up a tenth from its original calculations.
Make UK chief Philip Phipson, said: ‘After the seismic shock to the sector last year, manufacturers are now beginning to move through the gears and accelerate into recovery as demand at home increases and major markets also begin to pick up.
‘Looking forward, we are now at an economic crossroads. We have a major opportunity for government and industry to work together on a long-term vision which ensures we take advantage of the acceleration in technologies, our capacity for innovation and world class academic and science base. Future generations will not look back kindly if we do not grasp it.’
The Workers Union on Prioritising UK Manufacturing
The news that the UK’s manufacturing sector is predicted to grow in 2021 is very welcome. It’s a tribute to the resilience and dedication of the people that make and distribute the quality goods our nation is renowned for.
However, it would be wilfully deceitful to suggest that the struggle is over. The main-selling point of Brexit revolved around the opportunities it would gift to those intrepid enough to take chances. Without the cloying hand of Brussels, British entrepreneurial spirit would ensure that the Prime Minister’s vision of Global Britain rapidly manifested itself.
The reality on the ground is quite different. Far from unfurling Britannia’s redoubtable flag in distant outposts of the world, our manufacturers continue to be frustrated by bureaucracy.
Export orders to Europe are in the doldrums, and the promised slew of trade deals have yet to materialise. Of course there are extenuating circumstances: nobody predicted that a global pandemic would seize the wheels of the world’s economy.
But in this terrible turn of events lies the roots of future prosperity. By its very struggles we have seen how important British manufacturing is to the economic engine of our country. So now is the time to get back round the negotiating table and smooth out the creases in the trading agreement with the EU. Now is the time to honour the debt we owe to our sea-faring ancestors and push for truly global trade agreements. Now is the time to make heavy investments in science, technology and skills.
One thing is for sure, if the sector takes a central position in the UK’s post-COVID growth strategy, the hard-working people of this country will be ready to deliver.
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