UK manufacturing firms report feeling more positive about growth outlook going into 2022, according to survey

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17th January 2022 01:38 - Industrial

UK manufacturing firms report feeling more positive about growth outlook going into 2022: A survey has revealed that as manufacturers in the UK enter a new year (2022), they are feeling more positive about the growth outlook for their company than they are for the UK or global economy.

The research by Make UK and PWC polled 228 senior executives at a range of UK firms, revealing that more than half the manufacturers polled said the greatest challenges facing them had changed over the course of the last year. The greatest challenge facing them in 2022, according to respondents, will be inflation as well as attracting talent and retaining employees, and key skills. 

Manufacturers also reported they are expecting an improvement to operations in 2022, with three-quarters (73%) believing conditions for the sector are on course to get better. The same percentage (73%)are also optimistic that any opportunities for their business outweigh the risks. 

According to the survey, the UK is a location which 63% of manufacturers feel to be competitive for manufacturing, with just 13% saying it to be an uncompetitive location for business. More than three-quarters (78%) also believe  they will see a significant or moderate increase in productivity this year.

When it comes to staff, the survey revealed that for around two-thirds of companies, upskilling or retaining existing staff was the greatest priority, while developing new products (60%) and capital equipment (54%) was also cited. When it comes to finding new talent, 45% of companies said they plan to invest in apprenticeships in 2022.

The research also revealed that nearly one out of 10 manufacturers were concerned about losing skills from the sector as a whole.

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