A three year high in confidence has lead to the country’s small manufacturing firms to ramp up their recruitment over the next three months.

The Government’s Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) carried out a survey of over 800 companies with 54% saying they expect to create more jobs. This is an increase of 14% on the same period of the previous year.

There are some worries that employers will struggle to find people to fill these new positions with skills shortages being reported this year. The Office for National Statistics recently reported  there has been a year-on-year increase of 23% within the manufacturing sector.

Companies have given a number of reasons for their plans to expand their workforce. “Reshoring” of overseas supply chains in the automotive, aerospace and nuclear sectors was one, while rising sales was also a factor.

Anglepoise, a lamp and lights manufacturing firm, is a case in point. It nearly collapsed a decade ago, but not wants to expand its number of employees  from 14 to 21 over the next two months because of increased sales.

The managing director at Anglepoise, Richard Sellwood, said he thought that “sustainable confidence” was coming back to the UK’s manufacturing industry.

The MAS survey also found that higher sales over the last six months were reported by 61% of businesses, while 73% thought this would rise again by October.


Photo by Steve Jurvetson.