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Manufacturing skills 'should be priority for UK'

08 March 2016

Skills shortages are the greatest concern for manufacturing businesses in the coming years, according to a survey. 

As many as 73 per cent of 80 businesses surveyed by Siemens found that training the next generation of engineers was the greatest concern for businesses. 

An overwhelming majority (86%) said the UK still needs a greater focus on science, technology, education and maths (STEM) education at both primary and secondary school levels and there was also a desire for improved funding of and process for employing apprentices. 

The report also found that manufacturers were keen to engage in research and development in order to improve productivity. 

Some 78 per cent of businesses wanted easier access to funding for R&D and 40 per cent called for R&D tax credits.

Around 91 per cent have already deployed automation and control systems on their lines. 

“UK manufacturing is a critical sector, delivering 11 per cent of national GDP and employing 2.6 million people, it is therefore crucial that its future success is protected,” said , Brian Holliday, Managing Director – Digital Factory, Siemens UK and Ireland. 

“Recent reports from the EEF have shown that manufacturing is key to solving the UK’s ‘productivity puzzle’, so now is the time for action to build upon the good work already underway, and lay a strong foundation from which our innovative manufacturing sector can compete on a global stage once again.”

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