Does Manufacturing Hold the Key to UK Economic Recovery?

The manufacturing industry accounts for a large proportion of the economy in the UK, so it’s fair to argue that it could well hold the key to the economic recovery of our country in the coming years. We take a look at some of the most compelling reasons behind the argument that the manufacturing industry could well hold the key to the UK’s economic recovery. We will look at data which highlights just how important the manufacturing industry is to the UK’s overall recovery, whilst also addressing some of the key things manufacturers in the UK can do to make a genuine impact.

UK Manufacturing

The Facts and Surveys

With any popular argument, there are sure to be an array of stats and surveys trying to prove different sides. On the other hand, it appears that most of the information available in this case does indeed point towards the manufacturing sector as the key to the UKs recovery. Let us observe some of the data we have publicly available:

  • Manufacturing accounts for two thirds of R&D
  • Manufacturing accounts for 45% of exports
  • Manufacturing accounts for 15% of business investment
  • Manufacturing holds 2.7m high-value jobs, better paid than the economic average
  • The UK remains the ninth largest manufacturing nation, globally


(From Make UK and Santander)

To boot, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests that the 1.4% sustained yearly growth since 1948 in the sector can be attributed to a workforce that has more skill than it used to, a shift in production to focus on more high productivity goods, and a better integrated global economy.

The Annual Manufacturing Report from 2019 has further findings to indicate the relevance of the manufacturing sector in our current ecological climate:

  • 81% of manufacturing companies want to invest in new technology to boost productivity.
  • 71% find that Brexit is damaging planning and business prospects
  • 55% believe the government could do more to promote exports.
  • 66% believe the British people at large do not understand the importance of manufacturing to the global economy.


(The Annual Manufacturing Report 2019)

European Springs


One thing is clear, from spring manufacturers to car creators, the manufacturing industry is, undoubtedly, key to the recovery of the UK. Making this dream become reality, however, requires a united front, innovative practice, and national support.

The question, then, is how to implement this. Most of the aims and struggles faced by the industry at large can be traced back to one key problem; that most companies believe that manufacturing is under appreciated by the British people. You might ask yourself what understanding this possibly changes, but we think that it could be integral to the improvement of the sector and the UK’s recovery.

The national lack of respect for manufacturing’s place in the global economy has repercussions. 57% of manufacturing companies believe that the education system is a disappointment for the sector. With the onset of the fourth industrial revolution, it is paramount that the industry secures passionate, talented new workers with cutting-edge ideas.

As automation becomes more and more prominent, the skills gap grows ever wider and ever ominous. Young people simply aren’t aspiring to manufacturing anymore, but this doesn’t mean that the sector can survive without the workers. No, instead of the national education system directing a healthy percentage of our youth towards the industry responsible for two thirds of R&D, the businesses themselves are having to suffer the strain of creating their own training schemes and academies to attract new workers.

European Springs

Like many other businesses in manufacturing, we also believe that the future rests on the shoulders of the younger generations. To give them the best chance to succeed, it is vital that they are trained with the skills this country needs to excel.

Apprenticeships can bring great benefits to the companies who employ them, too. Skills Training UK stated that each apprentice has the potential of bringing gains to productivity of more than £10k per year for their employer.

Not only do apprentices bring immediate gains for their employers if properly trained and taken care of, another finding of the same study revealed that 80% of customers preferred to buy from companies that support apprenticeships.

Over the years apprenticeships have been extremely important to us. We’ve been proud to support a number of upcoming engineers in the past and look forward to the days when we can return to college careers fairs to extend our visibility to the people of the future.

European Springs Apprentices

If you’re looking for enthusiastic, talented, and precise spring and wire form manufacturers, you should contact us of look through our stock catalogue. We also offer bespoke solutions if you have specific needs that require expert attention.

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