There have been 40,000 new jobs across the manufacturing sector between August and October this year, a rise of 41% from the last business quarter, and Wetherby-based SME, metals4U, has benefited from the booming business, taking on 11 new staff members themselves during the first lockdown period, an additional five during the second lockdown and six more planned for the first quarter of 2021.
The manufacturing sector’s average weekly working hours are up to 31.3 per worker, which is two hours more than the national average. With the announcement of the National Living Wage increasing by 2.2% to £8.91 from April 2021, many workers in the sector will benefit which adds to more positive news for the industry going into 2021.
Business orders for metals4U were up by 41% in July 2020 from July the previous year, and 28% higher than February 2020. Sales continue to grow with 2021 orders forecast to be 60% up from 2020. This increase in sales led to the firm also being able to rent additional warehouse space and invest an additional £500k in stock to meet demand.
The best way to grow UK manufacturing through these trying times of Brexit and Covid is to invest within our shores as highly as possible. By utilising the skills and products already held, or manufactured, within the UK we can support the UK economy while making a real difference at a grass roots level to the livelihoods of all the sectors and services that make up, and contribute to, the construction industry supply chain.
We need to prioritise UK based materials manufacturers and suppliers, utilise the skills and talents of UK based engineers, designers and manufacturers, and the entire collective of workers that are instrumental in the success of all manufacturing projects.
Paul McFadyen, Managing Director of metals4U said: “The planned increases to the national living wage will benefit our workers greatly, and with more opportunities we hope to be able to offer more jobs within the business. We are starting to see signs of recovery in the industry that were affected by Covid-19 and, looking ahead to next year, we are hopeful for further signs of recovery in the sector.
“With uncertainty around Brexit and trade deals we are expecting to see a shift to more localised trade, which as a Yorkshire based business, we hope to gain from in 2021.”