With the country facing its greatest political crisis of recent years, it is unsurprising that manufacturers view their future with varying degrees of uncertainty and alarm.
Brexit creates a gloomy backdrop to the 2019 edition of The Manufacturer magazine’s Annual Manufacturing Report 2019 (AMR). Data on this – and the myriad other challenges facing manufacturers from investment, uncertain global trade and the skills gap – will be gathered in a national survey being launched today.
“We really encourage everyone to take part,” said Nick Peters, Editorial Director of The Manufacturer. “The Annual Manufacturing Report is routinely used at the highest levels of government to understand what manufacturers on the ground are thinking. Make your voice heard!”
The survey includes five categories of questions that embrace the challenges facing the sector.
Smart Factories (in association with PwC): How are companies large and small responding to the pressure to adopt the digital technologies that they are told will lead to significant increases in their productivity?
Government policy and industrial strategy: The two major issues here are Brexit, and the degree to which manufacturers believe the government’s industrial strategy offers a brighter future.
Finance and investment: Compared with our competitors in the G20, the UK’s track record of investing in its own future is weak – the UK has only 75 robots per 10,000 workers compared with 365 in Germany. Is our failure to invest that down to the banks or companies’ self-belief?
Skills: The nagging issue that is of more long-term significance than other, manufacturers need to find ways of filling the skills gap. Should they trust the education system, or take action themselves?
Growth and exporting: In a volatile, uncertain world, the only companies that stand a chance of long-term survival are those with solid strategies for growth, and that means finding new markets at home and abroad.
The survey takes no longer than 10 minutes to complete and will close on 14 January, at which point the results will be analysed and the full report written. All participants will receive a copy of the report and any participant who is not already a subscriber to The Manufacturer magazine will be given a complimentary 6-month subscription.
The report will be launched at an invitation-only reception at the House of Lords on February 18th 2019.
PwC’s partner lead on manufacturing, Cara Haffey, said, “I’m delighted that PwC is once again supporting The Manufacturer’s Annual Manufacturing Report. The UK Manufacturing sector is vital to the UK economy and although there are challenges the sector continues to look to the future and drive their businesses forward through technology innovation and increasing productivity. I am sure the results of the 2019 survey will once again be an interesting read and continue to celebrate some of the fantastic work that’s happening in the sector – I look forward to digesting the final report.”
Henry Anson, Business Development Director at Hennik Group, publishers of The Manufacturer and the Annual Manufacturing Report, said, “We are delighted once again to be working with PwC on the Annual Manufacturing Report. Their commitment to the sector is well-known, and we look forward to producing a report with them that sheds light on the mood of UK manufacturing at this critical stage in our history.”