Says Julia Moore, CEO of the GTMA: “It is an often-repeated misconception that the UK does not make things anymore. The reality is that we are still the ninth largest manufacturing nation in the world and the sector plays a vital role as an employer, exporter and innovator.
“In fact, British-made goods are sought after around the world, with manufacturing accounting for 44% of all the UK’s overseas sales. Manufacturing still contributes a tenth of UK Gross Value Added (GVA) and represents 70% of all business research and development spend and directly employs 2.7 million people.”
According to the commercial division of Lloyds Bank, which has recently issued ‘Business in Britain: Manufacturing. A survey of key sector opinions, trends and insights’, more than a third (37%) of firms saying they were planning to move manufacturing processes back to the UK that had previously been offshored to territories like Asia and eastern Europe. The survey shows the prime motive for this, cited by 71% of those with these plans, was to improve quality – a telling endorsement of the high standards that British manufacturers and workers uphold, which also has extremely positive implications for UK supply chains.
Says GTMA’s Moore: “Matching the needs of businesses that are reshoring, or even searching for the ‘lost skills’, which the engineering marketplace can provide, demonstrates where the Reshoring website excels.
“It can make the compiling of an end-to-end supply chain much more efficient, minimising the ‘leg work’ required to find businesses that are capable and competent enough to provide the support required.”
Support for the initiative has also come from the UK’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult, which includes WMG, AFMC, which has been instrumental in supporting the Reshoring initiative to fund the development of the search facility and bring together a supply chain of engineering companies to support UK industry.
Says Reshoring UK patron Baroness Burt of Solihull: “The development of the reshoring initiative is to encourage engagement with our manufacturing supply chain and to recognise the strength, skills and innovation available to manufacturers in the UK.”