One third of manufacturing companies in the UK are considering redundancies as coronavirus restrictions continue to impact their ability to trade.
According to a survey by manufacturers’ organisation, Make UK, 33% of companies are contemplating making staff redundant within the next six months.
Only a quarter of companies surveyed said they were operating at full capacity, and more than a third believe it will take between six and twelve months before they can return to normal trading. Almost three in ten also think it will take at least a year.
Make UK CEO, Stephen Phipson, said: “As a country and an economy we are at a crossroads. Looking to the long term, we need to lift our horizons to how we can transform the economy.
“This will require a different mindset in government from believing we can achieve growth simply through diverging from EU regulations which have little or no economic significance in the bigger picture.
“Instead we need an industrial strategy and vision on a scale not seen since the Marshall Plan which identifies new technologies and market openings that will benefit from enterprise-friendly policies on taxation, research and development, infrastructure and regional investment.
“In particular, government must work with industry to harness our thriving, world-class academic science and innovation base and put in place a process whereby this can be commercialised, especially as we move to a net zero economy.”
The survey of 186 companies was taken between 13 and 21 January, and found that more than a third of manufacturing businesses have seen both sales and orders fall since the beginning of 2021.
Almost one quarter of respondents said the current lockdown is better than the previous two, however in contrast, more than ten percent of companies believed conditions for their business were worse.
When asked about the Budget and what measures they would like to see the government implement, well over half - 56% - of manufacturing companies said they wanted to see Business Rates waived and a fall in costs.
The survey revealed that 47% of companies would like to see the Job Retention Scheme extended to at least autumn, as almost two fifths still have up to 10% of their staff on furlough.
Almost half - 45% - of manufacturing businesses want a longer-term commitment to increase investment allowances, and 35% want to see more fiscal incentives for research and development, including doubling the research and development tax credit.
Watch: What could scrapping EU labour laws mean for Brits?