Manufacturing theme policies and campaigns

Supporting and promoting the manufacturing sector, and the engineers working in it, is key to contributing to a prosperous economy.

Manufacturing generates over 60% of all UK exports and employs three million people, and its success is vital. Manufacturing embodies the lifecycle of activities:

  • Research, design and development
  • Production and logistics
  • Service provision
  • End of life management

Manufacturing is a significant contributor to a nation’s economic growth providing skilled employment, local and regional diversification and prosperity and increased GDP wealth through exporting potential.

Within the UK a growing and thriving manufacturing sector will provide future economic growth, wealth and prosperity, and our priorities are:

  • Supporting product and process innovation
  • Helping small business upgrade systems and improve operational excellence
  • Influencing government and strategic investment
  • Supporting and strengthening supply chains
  • Encouraging commercialisation of new products and technologies
  • Advising on legislative change in response to new technologies or markets

Finding the right people

The biggest challenge for the manufacturing sector is its ability to recruit adequately trained staff today and in the future. This is particularly true in the area of technicians, despite many companies embracing new apprenticeships. If the UK lacks the engineering talent, companies will have little choice but to recruit overseas or, more worryingly, move their facilities to nations which do have an adequate supply of engineers and technicians.

We have concerns over the slow adoption of new materials and technologies. The advancements by the UK’s academic research into new composites and nanotechnologies have not been translated in any significant way to the nation’s manufacturing sector. By contrast, countries such as China, South Korea and the United States are investing billions.

We carry out regular surveys of manufacturing companies to make sure we understand the issues and pressures that companies are facing.  We have also joined forces with The Manufacturer to run The Manufacturer MX (TMMX) Awards, an exciting competition benchmarking manufacturing excellence.

Philippa Oldham CEng MIMechE

Manufacturing policy spokesperson

Philippa joined the Institution in 2011 as the Head of Transport and Manufacturing. She works with members to raise the profile of engineers, aiming to spark debate and provide thought leadership within the transport and manufacturing realm.

 Read Philippa's full biography

Get in touch

Contact the Press Office if you are a member of the media and would like an expert comment for an article or you have a question about our policies and reports.

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