Record number of small manufacturers plan to create new jobs

28 May 2014 #SMMT News

Record numbers of UK small manufacturers are looking to take on staff as recruitment confidence hits a three-year high.

More than half of firms (54%) questioned by the Manufacturing Advisory Service’s (MAS) Barometer are looking to create new jobs, marking a 14% increase on the same period last year. This is the highest level of confidence in staff recruitment seen in the history of the report.

Firms are looking to take advantage of new opportunities, including expansion and reshoring of supply chains in automotive, aerospace, and nuclear sectors.

The MAS Barometer shares the views of over 800 small manufacturers across the UK, employing more than 24,000 people and realising turnover in excess of £3bn.

Responses also reveal a record appetite for investment in new plant and machinery (59%) and in developing new technologies (52%).

Business Minister Michael Fallon said, “Britain’s manufacturers are helping drive the UK economic recovery. Through our industrial strategy and economic plan, government will continue to work closely with this vital sector to ensure that confidence stays high, creating more highly-skilled jobs and a stronger economy for everyone.” 

Steven Barr, Head of MAS, commented, “We have seen consistent signs during the last twelve months that firms are ramping up capacity, in order to meet increasing orders and take advantage of work coming back to the UK.

“This is the clearest signal yet that our manufacturers believe the upturn is sustainable. Three record figures for recruitment and investment in machinery and technology suggest many small manufacturers are planning for the long-term and, encouragingly, they are taking action now to manage future expansion.”

With manufacturing volumes set for record levels in the next few years, UK automotive companies are investing billions of pounds per year in expanding production facilities. For a comprehensive guide to the UK’s thriving automotive sector, take a look at SMMT Motor Industry Facts 2014 .

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