Engineered in Britain 2011: Manufacturing a Successful Economy?

This report aims to ascertain the perceptions of manufacturers and the public towards the value, role and input of the Government in the growth of this valuable economic sector.

2011 was the first year of our Engineered in Britain campaign, which aims to promote the value of engineering and manufacturing to the health and wealth of the UK’s economy.

The Engineered in Britain Charter promotes and seeks support for three principles:

A balanced economy is a stronger economy

  • All sectors of the UK economy are valuable; however balance between sectors is also important. A healthy engineering and manufacturing base is important within any economy, and the UK must ensure that this sector forms a sufficient proportion of the overall economy to help create economic resilience
  • We believe that industry and government must work together to increase the engineering and manufacturing sector’s share of the economy.

We must plan together for success

  • Projects are more successful with planning and stakeholder buy-in. A plan for growth must focus on education & skills, taxation & incentives, research & development, key infrastructure development, future economic prospects and the green economy
  • We believe that many of these elements are in existence; however they lack focus and coordination
  • We are working with key partners to bring companies, government, engineers and other relevant parties together to develop consensus on a roadmap and help increase the economic proportion of our manufacturing sector.

We must contribute to our own future

  • Any developed nation wishing to maintain economic resilience through wealth creation needs a strong and sustainable science and engineering base. Central to this is the innovative ability of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates it produces. The government has already identified engineering as a strategically critical profession
  • We believe that companies and professional institutions should proactively engage with the government and education providers to help create a supply of well-educated and well-motivated engineering graduates.


In developing this research, we sought views from 1,000 professional engineers working in manufacturing who are members of the Institution (referred to as ’manufacturers’ in this survey). In addition, to ensure the research was balanced, we also conducted a poll with 1,000 members of the general public. We took responses from both research projects anonymously with MSS Research conducting the manufacturers’ survey and ICM the public research. We completed both research projects in April 2011.

Survey questions were asked under the areas of:

  1. Performance of the government and manufacturing
  2. Growth of the manufacturing sector
  3. Skills and jobs

For a majority of the questions, we sought the views of both the public and manufacturers. It has been highlighted where questions sought only the opinion of manufacturers.

Key findings

  • Both the public and the manufacturers’ research indicated a desire for more government action, and less rhetoric, on boosting the UK’s manufacturing sector (Questions 1–3)
  • Investment in our transport infrastructure and incentives to encourage the creation of new products and markets is needed (Questions 10 and 11)
  • Overall, there is a strong desire to see engineering and science degrees subsidised to encourage more people into these professions (Question 12)
  • 61% of engineering companies are recruiting new staff; however 51% of these are struggling to find candidates with the desired skills (Questions 13 and 14)


All reports and policies

Browse all our reports, policy statements, consultation responses and presidential addresses

View all

Have a question?

Contact our press team.