After years of recession and a stagnating economy, the year ahead looks promising for UK businesses and the manufacturing industry. The economy continued to improve – albeit slightly – throughout the last quarter and there is plenty of reasons to be hopeful for 2014.
The recovery has taken its time, but it is slowly gaining pace. A recent survey shows that British businesses are optimistic for the next 12 months, and news reports suggest that they have a right to be.
According to a recent press release issued by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, the manufacturing industry in the UK is fast gaining momentum. It has experienced its strongest growth for three years and production and new orders have reached a nineteen year high.
Commenting in a press release, David Noble, Chief Executive Officer at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, said
“The industry’s ongoing recovery has given rise to a substantial expansion in purchasing activity but similar to previous months, the sector is still experiencing some shortages, particularly in raw materials, implying that supply chains still have some catching up to do with the market. With good signs that growth will be maintained, suppliers go into the New Year with more opportunities than the challenges of previous years.”
Recently it was also announced that half of the UK’s firms plan to recruit new staff in 2014, and 73% of businesses in the London expect to grow their businesses over the course of the next twelve months.
Job prospects for young people improve
There was good news for young people, too. Job prospects have looked poor in recent years and there are currently more people under the age of 25 out of work than there has ever been. In total, there are said to be one million under-25s out of work.
However, according to a new survey recently published by the CBI, many companies state that they are planning to recruit younger employees through apprenticeship and graduate schemes, offering young people the prospect of gaining meaningful skills and employment.
Are manufacturing jobs set to return to the UK?
After years of jobs from the manufacturing sector being moved overseas to take advantage of cheaper labour, news reports suggest that in the next decade the trend will be for manufacturers to return to the UK, creating more jobs throughout the manufacturing sector.
And in yet more good news, GDP growth figures for the last quarter showed signs of “robust” growth, confirming that the UK economy is at last back on track and the future is looking much brighter than it did at the start of the year.
There are still tough economic times ahead for many, but there is also hope of a better future on the horizon as 2014 draws near. The UK has gone through the worst of the recession and 2013 has indeed ended on a positive note for many businesses.