In a week where there are rumblings that the economic outlook is not being quite as bleak as economists thought; largely due to a milder than expected winter, more government support for energy price caps, higher than expected retail and car sales, and quite frankly incorrect forecasting and over excited opinions, The Times published an article stating that the leader of Britain’s manufacturing bosses will launch an attack on government for the mis-management of the economy.

This seems like a pretty obvious point of attack – in fact I don’t recall a time in my life when people were praising the government for how well they were dealing with the economy.

Amidst this criticism and problem highlighting there is little real talk of solutions. However, Stephen Phipson, chief executive of Make UK which speaks for 20,000 companies in the manufacturing and engineering sector, has been coming up with solutions for the industry for some time but has seemingly been ignored.

Perhaps until now – after all nothing is a problem, until it becomes a problem. The whole topic of discussion in the manufacturing sector, and indeed commentary from myself and Tony Wright, has been based around adapting to change, evolution in the net zero race as well as a reduction of costs. Mr Phipson is critical of government’s failure to embrace industry strategy of building nuclear reactors and attracting gigafactories (facilities producing electric batteries at a large scale) both of which contribute to the aforementioned discussion.

He states that for many years he has been telling government that the UK needs a strategy for transitioning the sector and supply chain from making combustion engines to electric. The challenge of moving to net zero, having more efficient routes to market, and reducing costs is here to stay. So one would hope the government does start listening to these strategic pleas.

The Times also reports wider turmoil in that overseas companies are ‘turning their back’ on the UK and shoring up supply chains has become top priority for manufacturers.

We have been impressed with the resilience of leaders in the manufacturing sector since we started tracking trends and attitudes approximately 9 months ago – perhaps the government will now follow suit in protecting this great industry.

For more insight please refer our recently published report below: