Woman using machinery

Blueprint gives manufacturers a voice in the next government

Woman using machinery

Britain’s manufacturers are “holding out for a hero” in the corridors of power according to our National Head of Manufacturing, Johnathan Dudley, who offers the next government a blueprint for securing the industry’s future.

Johnathan Dudley, said: “Manufacturing is at the heart of the UK economy, yet its relevance has remained largely absent from the election in how the sector is at the forefront of stimulating growth and tackling climate change.

“The industry needs a hero within the corridors of power who can create the right environment for manufacturers to prosper. Without a dedicated minister, the industry fears more years of political neglect.

“Manufacturing represents nearly a quarter of UK GDP, and if the story of the next parliament is stimulating growth - when British manufacturing is strong, so is the country.” 

The call for representation in the next government follows the launch of our “Manifesto for Manufacturing”, in conjunction with prominent industry leaders, which provides a blueprint for the government to drive innovation, job creation and decarbonisation of the economy - securing the industry future and the country’s long-term prosperity.


The manifesto is based on five key pillars:

Skills and education

  • Strategic review, refocus of education engagement and provision with manufacturing.
  • Overhaul the apprenticeship system and its funding processes, including introduction of a tax credit based system and introduce training incentives for UK graduates.
  • Supported graduate level study fees for (STEM) subjects.

Digitisation and innovation

  • Reintroduction of enhanced Research and Development relief at 130% uplift for SMEs.
  • Training and education measures to build UK cyber resilience and secure technology supply chains.
  • Better communication of support and funding streams.

The route to net-zero

  • Strategic financial support for manufacturing businesses to decarbonise as part of a single national strategy and assistance scheme.
  • A reshoring initiative to provide funding and support for reshoring to the UK of products and components currently produced abroad.
  • Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) to protect ‘homegrown’ production.
  • National standardisation of net zero and carbon neutral expectations and requirements

Secure the UK’s supply chains

  • Root and branch risk assessment covering supply chains and national infrastructure plans of UK steel production and technology dependent production processes.
  • Public industry procurement process that favours UK suppliers as a point of preference.
  • Utilisation and support of the SME supply chain.

Finance and investment

  • Capital grants scheme to digitise manufacturing processes and support decarbonisation.

The ‘pillars’ of the manifesto support the UK manufacturing industry's place as a global competitor and the country’s economic engine. Ranked as the eighth largest maker globally by output value, according, Lloyds Bank's True Impact of UK Manufacturing, the industry is worth £518 billion to the economy, equating to nearly a quarter (23.1%) of the country's GDP.

Stephen Morley, president of the Confederation of British Metalforming (CBM), adds: “Manufacturing is a cornerstone of our GDP, and it has been proven time and time again that when manufacturing is strong, the UK economy is in a good place.

“The actions highlighted in the manifesto are crucial in ensuring no further harm comes to manufacturers who contribute so much to GDP and our trade balance. We need to create the right environment that encourages our manufacturers to deliver growth and wellbeing to the British people and our economy.”

Johnathan Dudley added: “Our latest survey reveals that 87% of manufacturers say that government support for the industry is inadequate.

“Despite relative neglect by successive governments, manufacturing has always been a medium for ‘levelling up’, well before politicians conceived or adopted the concept, with its relative ease of access and constant demand for new and innovative products.

“The individuals involved in the industry, its supply chain and the companies they work for contribute by earning, learning, thriving, adding value, and paying taxes. This collective effort enables the economy to support public services.”