UK needs Minister for Manufacturing to drive sector forward, says manufacturing expert


Manufacturers in the UK would benefit from a dedicated minister to recognise the sector’s strategic importance.

This is the view of Johnathon Dudley, Head of Manufacturing at national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe. He said: “A dedicated minister would be well placed to target the previously unsupported plight of manufacturers in terms of frightening energy costs, supply chain issues around spiralling costs and unavailability of certain raw materials.

“Working to create a strategy to support our manufacturing sector, to add value by solving the problems of our world, both today and in the future while meeting the Levelling Up and Regeneration objectives at the same time.

“What’s more, it would help to solve our transport issues and contribute to solving the energy crisis while delivering on our net zero commitments made at the COP summit, just last year.”

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Although the percentage of GDP controlled by manufacturing is often represented as limited, usually between 10-12%, he points out that a portion of the economic activity generated is picked up in other sectors, disguising the true numbers.

“For every OEM job, there are ten others in the supply chain, and these well paid jobs must surely provide support in other sectors such as retail, real estate, business and professional services, agriculture and others maybe?

“As an island we are short on natural resources but have a wealth of talent and a reputation for high-value add.”

He also points out that major infrastructural projects in the UK, such as HS2 and Hinkley Point, will require UK-based engineering and manufacturing capability and a secure supply chain to deliver results in a manner that still achieves net zero targets and within budget.

Dudley said: “The Chancellor is basing our Covid recovery on an export and innovation-led economy.

“A Manufacturing Minister should arguably be a cabinet post, to be strategic and drive an agenda where we are not reliant on rogue nations for power or semi-conductors and for rolling stock.”

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