Manufacturing is a resilient, innovative, modern sector that drives the British economy. UK manufacturers consistently demonstrate their ingenuity and resilience, providing technological solutions to the biggest societal challenges we face.
However, a potent cocktail of economic issues, leaves manufacturers in a perilous situation. As such, business confidence with investment and employment intentions are now falling, and the rising cost of business is now becoming ‘business threatening’ for some manufacturers.
During Digital Manufacturing Week, Stephen Phipson, CBE, Make UK, gave a keynote during the SME Growth Summit, looking at the contribution of manufacturing to the economy, the current headwinds affecting manufacturers and how they can be supported to provide real economic growth.
Stephen has been the Chief Executive of Make UK since joining in 2017. He previously spent five years as a senior civil servant holding the position of Head of the Defence and Security Organisation within the Department for International Trade, delivering export support to UK defence and security businesses.
Prior to this, Stephen held the position of Director for Security Industry Engagement within the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism at the Home Office. Before serving in the UK government, Stephen spent 35 years in senior roles in the manufacturing industry including 15 with Smiths Group plc as President of Smiths Detection where he was awarded a CBE in 2010 for services to the security industry. Stephen has worked extensively abroad in high technology manufacturing businesses and started his career as an engineering apprentice with the Plessey company.
The Manufacturer caught up with Stephen at the Smart Factory Expo to find out more.