Manufacturers believe there should be a dedicated government minister for their sector, according to a new survey, which also found that the value of sterling is now a principle concern for exporters.
In a survey of 200 SME senior decision makers on the state of manufacturing by technology specialist Samson VT, almost three quarters (71 per cent) believed their fortunes would be improved if there was a minister in government focused only on manufacturing.
Currently, the responsibility for manufacturing comes under the remit of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – a role that also covers retail, consumer goods, personal care, hospitality and professional services, among others.
Sam Burgess, CEO at Samson VT, said:
“British manufacturers have been under enormous strain over the last 12 months as costs continue to rise, supply chain issues worsen and the possibility of a recession nears closer and closer. With exports contributing almost a fifth of the industry’s revenues, the current fluctuation of the pound isn’t helping matters either.
“In light of these challenges, it is understandable that manufacturers want a minister that can both represent their interests at the highest level of government and take steps to mitigate their struggles.”
When asked about the current challenges facing the manufacturing sector, the survey respondents ranked inflation and the deteriorating value of the pound as their top threats.
More than half (52 per cent) of the exporters surveyed said exchange rates have become a significant challenge for them. The value of sterling against the dollar dropped as low as 1.07 USD during 2022, lower than at any point in the last decade.
The situation makes foreign exchange (FX) strategies such as forwards, futures and hedging, as explained by Manufacturing Advisor Phil Anders in a previous blog, more important than ever for exporters.
Our Manufacturing Advisors are on hand to help Greater Manchester SMEs overcome the financial challenges ahead. Explore our services today to see where we can help.