An annual analysis of the world’s manufacturing landscape found that the UK’s manufacturing output is now worth £192 billion – making them the world’s ninth-largest manufacturer.
According to the research, the top ten largest manufacturers in the world are:
- United States
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
In this article, we take a closer look at the key findings from the report and explore some of the reasons that UK manufacturing has maintained its strong position despite the pressures of Brexit.
Key Findings from the Report
The research, which was conducted by Make UK (formerly EEF) and Santander, highlighted just how important the success of manufacturing in the UK is to the wider economy as a whole. Delving deeper into the output of major manufacturing nations in the world, along with other key statistics, the research takes a closer look at the overall impact the manufacturing industry has on the UK.
Manufacturing now accounts for two-thirds of overall research and development in the UK, 45% of total exports and 15% of business investment. The study’s findings further highlight just how important the manufacturing industry is to the UK, especially during and after Brexit has occurred.
The North West of England has the largest output in manufacturing, with over £28.5bn worth of products being created – this was closely followed by London and the South East of England, with each region producing £28.1bn.
Since 1948, the UK’s industrial sector has increased by 1.4% according to a recent report from the Office for National Statistics. If the current growth trend within the industry continues, the UK will break into the top 5 manufacturers in the world by 2021.
It’s fair to say that the UK manufacturing industry has a whole host of positive statistics to boast despite the threats posed by Brexit. Along with fantastic growth figures in terms of output, the manufacturing industry can also be proud of its commitment to employing a large percentage of the population. Listed below are some more of the manufacturing industries
- The UK manufacturing industry employs over 2.7million people
- UK manufacturing provides 13% of all business investment
- Employees earn an average of £32,500 per year
- Accounts for 45% of total UK exports
- Contributes to 11% of GVA
Speaking of the report, Seamus Nevin, Chief Economist at Make UK, commented: “These figures lay bare the overwhelming importance for manufacturers of trade with our closest market and the need to avoid imposing any barriers which will make this more difficult.
“The figures also provide an important reminder that we’re still one of the top ten biggest manufacturing nations and we want to see policymakers working with industry to help move UK manufacturing up the rankings.”
Why Are UK Manufacturers Performing So Well?
With all of the issues brought about by Brexit negotiations in the last few months, it’s fair to assume that the manufacturing industry would have suffered and potentially slumped in terms of output. However, the industry has continued to maintain a high production level throughout the year, which has led to some positive figures in the latest research carried out by Make UK.
The Office of National Statistics has attributed the sustained growth to a number of variables, including,
- A better, more skilled workforce that is capable of producing quality products within tight timeframes.
- A shift in production from low to high productivity goods, meaning that the UK’s workforce were able to produce more products within the last year.
- Vast improvements in automation and technology – whilst it is no secret that many manufacturing businesses have spent hundreds of millions of pounds on enhancing the technology available to them, the research confirms that this investment is paying off in terms of productivity.
- There is also an argument that increased investment in research and development within the manufacturing industry has played a role in the rise in output. With our manufacturers being afforded the time and given the budget to research up and coming innovations, the UK can stay one step ahead of other countries manufacturers.
- The final suggestion is that there is a more integrated global economy this year.
As one of the largest spring manufacturers in the UK, the team at European Springs take great pride in ensuring that we do our bit to maintain the UK’s productivity within manufacturing. By investing in the very latest technologies to maximise efficiency and maintaining our highly skilled workforce, we are capable of producing over 3 million components every hour. We will continue refining our internal processes over the coming years in a bid to become as efficient as possible, utilising a mix of highly-skilled workers along with the latest and greatest manufacturing technologies.