A Manufacturing plan

When the dust settles a little more, we need to be looking ahead rather than beneath our feet and start planning ahead for our sectors recovery, post pandemic.

Many that know me, know I am a huge advocate of manufacturing and made in the UK.

I have been for pretty much all my working life. So today in particular, I wanted to post a quick ‘shout out’ to Make UK who put out report this weekend detailing a three point plan for Manufacturing recovery in the UK.

Most know what we need to do (in principle) in terms of a business lead recovery. However, it’s nice to be able to read a bit of a blueprint that has come from experts within the field of engineering and manufacturing.

I’ve highlighted some of the salient points in the report and will attach a link for those that want to take a look for themselves.

Being honest, not all of it is pretty reading but it’s probably safe to say none of us would expect otherwise.

Key points:

  • The OBR have estimated a 35% fall in GDP in the second half of 2020
  • They expect unemployment to rise to 10%, which is an extra 2 million people looking for work
  • The downturn in economic output began in March and isn’t likely to pick up again until at least July
  • The economy is heading for its largest single year deficit since the Second World War
  • Manufacturing output in the UK has fallen sharply

Even if lock-down eases soon, the impact of this situation is likely to affect companies for a long time to come yet.

Which means that CEO’s are having to make really difficult decisions.

Some are pulling in, cutting costs and focusing on surviving the storm. Others are taking decisive action to put reforms in place so that when this crisis is over, they can come back stronger.

It is clear from this three stage plan, that whilst a lot needs to come from banks, government policymakers, ultimately, this recovery should be business led and that’s where the plan comes into play.

The three points are to:

  • boosts economic confidence,
  • to ensure a safe return to work and
  • lastly to build resilience.

I attended the Make UK conference in London in early February (seems like a world away right now) and what I can say is that they have a vested interest in UK manufacturing and have a lot of connections within industry that can help build a solid framework that will support our manufacturers, which is ultimately what we should be looking at moving forward.

Whilst there are grey clouds on the horizon, having a bit of a road map and a semblance of a plan on how to move forward and build from what we have lost, gives the feeling of a little more security that we are not standing alone.

Maybe this is the prod that manufacturing in the UK needed so that we are more self-sufficient as a nation in terms of manufacturing and engineering output?

We’ve seen the issues with supply chain across the globe, and whilst I appreciate that these times are unprecedented, it has highlighted that there are issues that we need to address so that as a country, we’re able to sustain our own requirements before we’re able to establish those requirements in other countries.

There’s also no reason why we can’t learn lessons and do things in a different way which may ultimately have a better, more beneficial and long term impact than the way we were doing things.

Whenever we have to endure change, there’s always pain. And this crisis, might just have allowed us to make those changes a bit more readily, if we dare.

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