A new survey by British manufacturers’ organization Make UK has shown that the number of companies planning to make redundancies in the next six months has risen to 53 percent.
This adds to the sharp rise seen in the last three such surveys over an eight-week period, rising from 25 percent to 42 percent previously and comes despite a gradual improvement in sales and orders. Such a scale of highly skilled job losses in manufacturing has not been seen since the 1980s and could become a ‘real bloodbath,’ said the report.
Almost a third of companies (32.3 percent) are planning to make between 11 percent and 25 percent of employees redundant, with just under eight percent of companies planning to furlough between a quarter and half of their workforce.
“There is no disguising the fact these redundancy plans make for very painful reading. As well as the distressing personal impact on livelihoods across the UK, Industry cannot afford to lose these high value skills which will be essential to rebuilding our economy and investing in the industries of the future,” said CEO of Make UK Stephen Phipson.
According to him, “At present, the prospect of a V-shaped recovery for Industry seems remote. Therefore, if we are to mitigate the worst impact of potential job losses, Government must extend the furlough scheme for key strategic sectors to provide them with vital breathing space.”
Phipson said that the UK government should also consider measures to boost demand in the aerospace and automotive industries in particular. “These sectors are vital to the future of industry and are at the forefront of developing new technologies which will be essential to the success of our economy,” he concluded.
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The survey also showed that just 15 percent of companies are now operating at full capacity. Almost a fifth of companies (18.8 percent) are operating between a quarter and half capacity and just under a third (31.8 percent) between a half and three quarters capacity. The proportion of companies expecting a return to normal trading to take twelve months or longer has risen from just under a third in the last survey to 42 percent.
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