Manufacturing & Engineering

From automotive to transportation, the Manufacturing & Engineering sector has a deep-rooted history in Britain. As the sector works towards the advanced stages of integrated automation known as Industry 4.0, there are some inspiring success stories

Sector at a glance

  • £34.3bn - The value of exports produced by the British automotive sector, annually
  • 2nd - The global ranking of the UK in the aerospace manufacturing sector
  • 54% - The proportion of 11–14-year-olds who said they would consider a career in engineering, in 2019

Dream Machines

The Manufacturing sector hit the headlines for the right reasons in spring 2020 when dozens of companies around the UK responded to the Government’s request for help dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic by switching production to medical equipment, personal protective equipment and hand sanitiser – even though most had no experience of making such things.

It provided further proof of the agility and resourcefulness of a sector that represents 69% of business R&D, as companies seek to grow by maximising their use of automation and technology. The UK is currently the ninth largest manufacturing nation in the world by output, and manufacturing accounts for 45% of its total exports.

Engineering is booming too: nearly 5.7 million people work in engineering enterprises in the UK, representing just over 19% of total employment.