Cara Haffey, PwC’s Industrial Manufacturing and Automotive leader, comments on the latest IHS Markit Manufacturing PMI index:
“In line with our January Manufacturing report, in conjunction with Make UK, it is good to see positive news continue with growth in UK manufacturing output and production rising at its fastest rate in six months in the latest PMI figures. Production volumes are rising and companies are driving responsible growth. However, purchasing managers still have a difficult balancing act to conquer at the moment, in ordering ahead to ensure timely delivery while hedging against rising costs.
“Productivity is still key to the UK’s growth and whilst employment growth is welcomed, we do need to continue to invest in new technology and new skills to ensure productivity rises in this country compared to our close neighbours.
“As manufacturers address skills shortages, it’s clear that a focus on diversity, inclusion and wellbeing is not only key to attracting and retaining new and emerging skills but improving the industry’s competitive edge. The industry’s ambition to build out its green skill base through the creation of 'green' jobs is being matched by a growing focus on ESG among employees and potential recruits, and this focus has recently been acknowledged as outperforming the UK sector average in our Green Jobs Barometer. These messages need to be amplified for this industry if it is to win the war on talent against competing sectors and territories.”
Nick Atkin, PwC’s Industrial Manufacturing, Automotive and Services leader, reflects on the importance of decarbonisation across the value chain in response to the February Manufacuring PMI Index:
“The data provides a positive outlook for the sector. However, technology and automation are key ingredients required in order to overcome the skills shortage issues reported.
"In addition, decarbonising the value chain is demanded by investors, employees and wider society and is a challenge that manufacturing industry leaders need to address rapidly in order to capture the value growth opportunity that exists and to play a strong role in not only driving the UK’s net zero ambitions but saving the planet.”
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