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Research says manufacturing industry should keep up with the times

The Government needs to encourage businesses to adapt to drive manufacturing in the UK as the economy continues to gain momentum, according to a recent report.

The Future of Manufacturing research, published by Foresight, warned that companies risk becoming obsolete if international competitors can provide better technology or more innovative design.

Whilst the report states that manufacturing accounts for over 10% of the UK’s value, it is considered to currently be at a critical juncture, where volatility around price and availability of resources must be reconciled with customer demand for sustainability and technical expertise.

Whether the manufacturing is coming in the form of wood flooring in North Wales or IT equipment in Ilfracombe, companies are going to have to prepare themselves for rapid changes in the way business responds to consumers. Across the UK, more than half of exports are from within the manufacturing industry, so companies providing services here are being asked to consider widening their customer base.

The report paints a picture of manufacturing in the year 2050, stating that it is going to be faster, more digitised and better targeted to the discerning customer. Workers within the industry will no longer be simply making and selling a product; they must increase their potential revenue streams by exhibiting their technical ability and knowledge.

This means that jobs are also likely to be more highly skilled and well paid.

The manufacturing industry is gaining strength, but this report highlights the need for some government intervention – such as better support for new businesses and better reaction to industry data.

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