Small manufacturers are focussing on UK sales for growth

09 September 2014 #SMMT News

Two thirds of small manufacturers in England feel that increasing sales in the UK will be the source of future growth for their business, according to the latest Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) Barometer. The advisory body attributed positivity in the sector to the millions of pounds that have been invested in the UK automotive industry so far this year.

The study also found that employment amongst small manufacturers is on the rise. More than half of firms are looking to recruit and create new jobs this quarter, predicting a 32% increase in staffing levels over the next four years.

The results of this survey continued the previous positivity as 61% of respondents had sales increase in the last six months. By the end of the year 76% of businesses expect to see growth.

Steven Barr, Head of the Manufacturing Advisory Service explained, “There is significant confidence in the domestic marketplace at the moment, a further signal that the recovery has taken hold.

“We’ve seen unrivalled investment in the UK automotive industry and that is cascading down the supply chain and creating new opportunities. Our reputation for low carbon advancement should also be another growth sector and I’m sure our manufacturing SMEs will be in line to take advantage of major infrastructure projects, such as Hinkley Point in Somerset and High Speed Rail.”

Business Minister Matthew Hancock said, “This is yet more good news for British manufacturing, which shows a more balanced recovery is really taking hold now. These many thousands of jobs that promise to be unlocked in manufacturing will help families across the country and that’s the whole point of our long-term economic plan.”

The survey also highlighted the biggest challenges faced by small manufacturers – with 71% of respondents stating access to skills. Creating effective sales channels and marketing were also seen as concerns by the businesses.

SMMT is actively involved in supporting its members in the area of education, training, development and careers promotion, ensuring that the right infrastructure and funding is in place for skills development is vital to the long-term success of the UK automotive industry. For more information go to the SMMT Skills and Careers page.

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