While UK manufacturing accounts for only 10% of the UK economy, we believe this long-term decline must be reversed, which is why we’re on a mission to change it by providing UK manufacturers with insights to boost machine utilisation, minimise downtime, achieve OEE and in turn improve profitability.
Like most things, the manufacturing landscape varies greatly across the country and between regions. In central London, for instance, where the big legislative decisions affecting manufacturing are largely made, manufacturing comprises less than 2% of GVA. By contrast, in East Lancashire, Cheshire, Flintshire and Wrexham, and West Cumbria the figure is over 30%.
Likewise, in areas like Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and the West Midlands a high proportion of jobs are in manufacturing. But it isn’t just the quantity of these jobs, it is also the quality. On average, manufacturing wages are 13% higher than the national economy average, with a manufacturing earnings premium seen across all qualification levels, making any gains available in machine utilisation and downtime even more critical.
According to new report by MakeUK and the influential think tank Onward, this means that manufacturing is integral to the government’s levelling up agenda.
In brief, levelling up has four key themes:
- Empowering local leaders and communities
- Growing the private sector and boosting living standards, particularly where they’re lower
- Spreading opportunity and improving public services, particularly where they’re lacking
- Restoring local pride.
In addition to these themes, the Levelling up White Paper published in February set out 12 missions to achieve the overarching aim of reducing regional disparities in areas such as productivity, prosperity, education and health.
These 12 missions are akin to shopfloor metrics or KPIs: measurable goals that the government wants to achieve by 2030. Critics suggest that too many of the ‘missions’ are too vague to be meaningful.
According to Adam Hawksbee, Deputy Director of Onward, a think tank close to government: “This report gives hope that manufacturers and the Government have the same priorities. Firms indicate that skills and talent are their number one concern, and ministers have this right at the top of their agenda.”
He also thinks that manufacturing and the politics of levelling up are aligned: “In the UK, where our economic story since the 1980s has too often revolved around services, productivity in manufacturing has had almost double the quarterly growth rate of the economy as a whole. Ultimately, this productivity growth feeds through into higher wages and living standards.”
He also notes the connection between manufacturing and wider society which we at FourJaw share and is part of our mission. “Manufacturing is more than a sector of the economy. It has an emotional resonance with parts of the country where industry historically brought pride and a sense of belonging. Major manufacturing employers were more than just a source of jobs – they were foundations of communities who supported infrastructure and invested in civil society.”
This report makes it clear that enabling local manufacturers to improve their productivity and win new markets at home and abroad is critical to the levelling up agenda as it improves prosperity, pride.
Help Level up your factory with machine monitoring
Here at FourJaw, we may not have all the answers to the levelling up agenda; but we do have one thing we’re proud to offer manufacturers across the UK, our plug & play, affordable, real-time data, machine monitoring platform; which as far as we can tell is the industry’s most accessible and affordable analytics platform. It can be installed in a little as 10-minutes, work with any brand of CNC machine and generate payback in weeks, not years!
So if you’re running a factory with CNC machines and have little or no visibility of machine utilisation and downtime, and you’re wondering where you can make an immediate impact to the hop floor whilst others try and sort out the levelling up agenda, book a demo with us today.