Published On: Mon, Apr 15th, 2024

Kemi Badenoch hails Brexit freedoms for powering UK manufacturing juggernaut | UK | News

Brexit freedoms are powering a manufacturing “juggernaut” that is firing a resurgent economy, Cabinet minister Kemi Badenoch says. The pulsating “made in the UK” sector is now worth £518billion and supporting 7.3million jobs in a clear sign the country is on the up and thriving.

The Business and Trade Secretary said: “We’re using our freedoms to back brilliant British industry. If Labour get in, we risk losing the benefits. We must stay the course. And if we do, Britain will remain a manufacturing juggernaut now and for decades to come.”

In-depth analysis by Oxford Economics and the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) reveals how buoyant firms have flourished despite an unprecedented period of struggle.

Booming businesses have succeeded despite the Covid pandemic, rocketing energy costs, global supply chain fragility and raging international conflicts.

The value of manufacturing, the backbone of the economy, is now put at almost 25 percent of national wealth – significantly larger than 8.2 percent of direct contribution quoted by economists.

The positive overview will be officially revealed by industry titans in Birmingham and shows typical wages in the sector are now £31,300 – 11 percent higher than the national average.

MTA boss James Selka said: “This is a fantastic insight into the true impact of manufacturing in the UK and reinforces what many of us already know – that industry is a far greater contributor to GDP and jobs than listed in national accounts. The results illustrate manufacturing accounts for £518billion of GDP and supports 7.3million jobs, most of which enjoy higher than average wages.”

Analysis also shows “making things” accounts for more than one third of all goods and services exports in further proof innovative firms are leading the world.

The UK remains the ninth largest manufacturing nation in the world, with annual output of £190billion.

Mr Selka said: “Our report has been designed to take a deeper dive and looks at the direct, indirect, and induced impacts of manufacturing, which is a far more comprehensive overview of what we make, the complex nature of our supply chains and the economic benefit gained from the spending of wages by those employed in our sector.

“We are also a part of the economy that invests heavily in new technologies, with nearly half of total research and development investment made by manufacturers.”

More than £200million of business will be completed across the week as innovative firms unveil new technologies and machines designed to boost productivity and global competitiveness.

It is also a major pull for young people looking for careers, with 3,500 students set to attend.

David Atkinson, of headline event sponsor Lloyds Bank, said: “As this report highlights, manufacturing is an integral part of the UK economy, through GDP contribution, job creation, and as a source of high wages.

“When you consider the sector’s extended reach through its supply chains and beyond, you can really start to see the scale of its contribution.

“Manufacturers have demonstrated agility and resilience in the past few years of uncertainty, and we are responding by continuing to invest in partnerships in the sector that ensure it has the skills, tools and support needed to compete on a global scale.”

Buoyant British firms continue to benefit from a Brexit bounce. One quarter of manufacturers have repatriated the production and manufacturing of goods where it was once done overseas as confidence grows. This has seen them focus on assembling an army of skilled, motivated, and homegrown talent to ensure Britain dominates a highly-competitive market.

Alucast, one of Britain’s busiest foundries, has increased its workforce by 20 percent as orders fly in. Its flourishing foundry in the West Midlands, the Black Country beating heart of blue collar Britain, is where melted metal is cast into shapes. It now employs 120 skilled workers and has secured £1.2million worth of export contracts for high-quality parts used in car manufacturing and hydraulics.

The boost comes as Britain officially became the world’s fourth largest exporter due to demand for services. The UK was ranked seventh in 2021.

Figures from the UN Conference on Trade and Development published last week showed we have overtaken France, Netherlands and Japan and now sit only behind only China, the US, and Germany.

Ms Badenoch said: “These new figures show how the UK is punching above its weight on trade, and is on track to reach our ambition of exporting a trillion pounds of goods and services a year by 2030.”

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