Manufacturing 2018, part 2: workforce trends

In this second of our three-part series looking ahead to 2018 in the manufacturing industry, we focus on trends concerning labour and the workforce. Pulling data from a range of reports, we want to give growing businesses the tools they need to plan for success over the next 12 months. So what might 2018 hold for manufacturers when it comes to the workforce?

Political currents

UK manufacturers draw a significant proportion of their workforce from the EU. As the Brexit process continues, businesses may seek certainty from the government as to what the UK’s relationship with the EU will look like once the UK leaves the bloc.

According to the EEF, 30% of manufacturers are increasing their capital expenditure in order to mitigate labour force issues. This may be linked to increasing automation in the manufacturing sector more generally. Other key reasons cited for increasing capital expenditure included upgrading or replacing equipment, and expanding into new business areas.

While the impact of the UK’s decision to leave the EU plays out, another trend which may impact manufacturing businesses is the strength of labour demand. In July, data showed that available jobs in the manufacturing sector were on the rise. It remains to be seen whether record low unemployment levels will harm manufacturers’ attempts to fill these vacancies, however.

Backing UK manufacturers

Manufacturing businesses form a vital part of the UK’s economy. When it comes to issues pertaining to the workforce - whether it’s hiring new staff, or making up for labour shortages by investing in automation - manufacturers need finance partners that understand their business models.

Because we understand these challenges at Growth Street, we created GrowthLine, a business finance product that gives you more flexibility when managing cash flow and working capital. GrowthLine works much like an overdraft: once we give you your facility limit, you can draw down funds and make repayments as often as you like. Find out more about how GrowthLine could help you execute your 2018 growth plans, or start your application now.

Head here to read the first instalment of our series on what 2018 might hold for the manufacturing industry, and here for our final piece, focusing on productivity.

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Written on in Business Insights