Urban legend Britain manufactured more in the 80s

Three quarters of consumers wrongly believe the UK used to manufacture more goods 30 years ago, according to a new EEF report.

Despite being at the forefront of economic recovery, 36% of consumers think the UK’s manufacturing industry is growing.

The findings said 76% of consumers would be proud to work for a manufacturer in the UK and 72% prefer buying goods made in Britain.

91% of UK consumers agree that manufacturing is essential for UK economic growth. 

The findings come ahead of Manufacturing, Science and Technology Week (23 – 27 June) at the International Festival for Business.

According to the study, manufacturing is driving the economic recovery, employing 2.6 million people and accounting for 11% of GDP.

The sector is on track for 3.6% growth this year.

Women are the biggest champions, with 75% agreeing that they would prefer to buy UK manufactured goods over those made elsewhere in the world, this falls to 71% amongst men.

The report revealed women would be equally as proud as men to work for a British manufacturer.

Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive of EEF, says: “With the global spotlight on British manufacturing next week it is time to ditch the urban myth that Britain manufactured more in the 80s than it does today.

“The reality is that British manufacturing is a huge success story and is going from strength-to-strength, employing 2.6 million people and accounting for 11% of GDP.

“Make it Britain is vibrant, vital and producing more today than it did 30 years ago.

“The good news is that manufacturers already have consumers’ backing, but if we arm them with the full facts about the strength, dynamism and versatility of this essential sector we will hopefully gain their pride too.

“This will encourage more young people to consider a career in our sector and make it easier to attract the talented and skilled employees needed for growth to continue at a pace.”