Thursday, May 24, 2012

News: Manufacturers in Yorkshire and Humber are increasing sales, creating jobs and investing more


Manufacturing SMEs in Yorkshire and Humber are bucking sluggish growth forecasts with encouraging reports of increased sales and new jobs.

Yesterday, the CBI reported on the national picture where UK manufacturers reported weaker order books in May, and the pace of expected output growth over the next three months has slowed.

However, more than half of local respondents (53%) to the first ever Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) National Barometer had seen turnover rise in the last six months, with 61% expecting further growth between now and the end of the year.

The quarterly survey also revealed that 49% of companies are planning to take on staff in the coming year with another 41% expecting employee numbers to remain the same, as the level of new business enquiries holds strong despite difficult economic conditions.

Martin Coats, Area Director at MAS, said: "This is the clearest indication yet that our manufacturers are enjoying increases in sales and, reassuringly, they expect this trend to continue.

"Investment by the major Original Equipment Manufacturers and interest from overseas companies to source from England has helped facilitate demand.

"The Barometer includes the views of manufacturers from all sectors and, against the backdrop of improvements in turnover, is showing a renewed commitment to create new jobs.

"It will be interesting to see if employers can find the skilled staff they require to fill the positions, bringing into focus the need for companies to create and support Apprenticeships so we can start to fill the talent pipeline again."

The MAS National Barometer has been based on the successful model conducted in the South West for the last three years. It predominantly provides a snapshot of trends in English manufacturing SMEs, as well as an overview of economic conditions and issues faced by the sector.

The report revealed that 49% of companies in Yorkshire and Humber are planning to increase spend on premises and machinery, whilst 37% plan to invest in developing new technology which will help them to remain ahead of global competition.

It appears that the MAS message of continuous improvement is also being understood, with more than 82% of firms admitting they would secure business growth through making improvements in operational efficiency.

MAS is funded by the government and is available to all manufacturing businesses across England. It is delivered by the Manufacturing Advisory Consortium (MAC), which is comprised of Grant Thornton, Pera, WM Manufacturing Consortium Ltd and SWMAS Ltd.

MAS website


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