While the papers nowadays are often full of doom and gloom stories linked to the fallout from Brexit, there was some good news recently for the manufacturing sector, which has seen strong growth in the last year – something reflected in average salaries £3,500 above the national average.
The news came from a report, UK Manufacturing: 2018/19, produced by Santander in partnership with manufacturers’ organisation EEF. It smashes the myth that people working in the manufacturing sector had low-paid jobs.
The report found that the average annual salary for those working in the sector was £32,500, though this increased to £39,800 per year in the transport industry, which has been especially successful. It has overtaken pharmaceuticals and chemicals in terms of research and development and is close to surpassing the largest manufacturing sub-sector of food and drink. Electronics have also seen significant growth – up 13.5% in the past five years.
The Impact of Brexit
This growth has happened during a time of uncertainty, not just over Brexit and fears of a no deal but also the growing trade dispute with the United States, the UK’s biggest export market. Sales to the US account for £43.1 billion. Seven EU countries, China and the United Arab Emirates also account for a large percentage of the UK’s export market.
Santander’s UK head of manufacturing, Paul Brooks, highlighted that almost 50% of UK exports came from the manufacturing sector. He also said how pleased he was to see that the manufacturing sector was working across the UK. There are manufacturing businesses in most regions of the UK, including the East Midlands, which is the home of vacuum conveyor manufacturer Aptech UK. You can find a range of innovative pneumatic conveying and bulk material handling products, including a vacuum conveyor, when you look for Vacuum Conveyors online at Aptech.uk.
Lee Hopley, EEF’s chief economist, said the report proved how important the manufacturing sector was to the UK economy and just how much it contributed as a whole. Many forget, he said, that the UK is one of the ten largest manufacturing countries in the world, but it was time policy-makers recognised this and began working with the sector to build on what has already been achieved as well as reduce the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit.