Manufacturers report turnover fall and recruitment squeeze, claims survey
27 Aug 2019
UK manufacturers are developing their own workforces to counter a chronic shortage of suitable recruits that is hampering business growth.
And a rapidly increasing number say they are seeing turnover and profits nosedive compared to the same time last year.
The claims come from SWMAS (South West Manufacturing Advisory Service) and Economic Growth Solutions’ latest quarterly survey of the sector’s leading decision makers, the SME Manufacturing Barometer.
When asked whether it was more difficult now to find skilled and motivated people than it was 12 months ago, 54% reported it was either “much more difficult” (24%) or “somewhat more difficult” (30%).
Simon Howes of SWMAS said: “Overall, UK manufacturers are seeking stability in the face of this challenging business climate, and are developing people, processes and new products in order to overcome adversity.”
“We are seeing some worrying signs that the lack of suitably skilled and motivated people could become the biggest shared issue for the sector in the near future.
Nearly 70% reported that they would be deploying strategies to support the development of their existing workforces, he added
Meanwhile, the percentage of firms reporting “much increased” turnover and profits was broadly flat compared to previous years, while the amount saying their turnover had “greatly decreased” had nearly doubled from 17% to 31%.
Projected increases in turnover for the next six months revealed that just over half of respondents believed they would see much increased sales – well down from last year’s 64%. By contrast, the percentage predicted much decreased sales more than doubled from 10% last year to 22% this year, said the report authors.