British public feels manufacturing is essential to the UK economy

10 mins

Research has found that over 2400 people in the UK feel strongly that manufacturing is key t...

Research has found that over 2400 people in the UK feel strongly that manufacturing is key to the future of the British economy. On top of this, over 75% of the general public believes manufacturing can bring new solutions to the economy. In recent years, ideas around fair pay and conditions within the manufacturing sector have changed for the better.

Whilst five years ago, there was a general feeling among the British public that the UK no longer made things. Despite this, in 2023, this feeling has changed, with over 90% feeling that the manufacturing sector is growing the UK economy.

It appears that the changing point was the pandemic. During this time new ventilators were designed for the NHS, meanwhile, medical clothing and masks were created by clothing brands and hand sanitisers were made by food and drink factories. Most importantly, the UK’s pharmaceutical companies produced life-changing vaccines that enabled us to all return to normal life.

Due to positive media coverage, the general feeling among the public towards manufacturing in the UK shifted. Manufacturing roles are now viewed as highly paid and highly appreciated roles.

The UK ranks third on the planet for aerospace manufacturing by value. In addition, the UK is also the biggest destination for space investment after the USA. With this in mind, it is projected to amount to 10% of the global space market by 2030.

Back in 2018, research suggested that only 14% of parents would encourage their daughters to go into the manufacturing sector, in comparison to nearly 25% for boys. Now in 2023, this figure has increased from only 14% to 36%, demonstrating the shift in attitudes towards manufacturing across the UK, and 44% for boys. However, this does still show that there is a gender divide when it comes to views on a career in manufacturing. More young women need to be encouraged into engineering and manufacturing, and this needs to begin during their education.

Today, the UK ranks 8th worldwide for manufacturing, which is a vast improvement from only five years ago, when the UK sadly only ranked 56th.

The future of manufacturing in the UK

The manufacturing sector supports over 2.5 million jobs across the UK and contributes over 200 billion pounds in gross value. Experts feel that manufacturing will drive economic growth in the UK, and it is vital for running the country’s economy in 2023. With all this in mind, manufacturing companies are looking at new innovations to limit energy usage and reduce carbon emissions to help aid the environmental impact the sector is having.


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