More than ten per cent of the gross value of the UK is accounted for by manufacturing, a recent report has shown.

The sector also employs some 2.5 million – or so the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills reports that ‘The Future of Manufacturing: A new era of opportunity and challenge for the UK’ demonstrates.

It accounts for 53 per cent of exports and 72 per cent of business development and research.

The publication, which the Government Office for Science organisation Foresight has published, argues that a new phase in manufacturing is approaching, BIS reports.

This will be pushed on by fast technological changes, new business techniques and possible availability and price volatility when it comes to resources, the report is said to claim.

Those economies where the manufacturing sectors are export-led and strong generally experience faster recovery after recessions, compared to nations that don’t have these sorts of manufacturing sectors, it emphasises.

It looks ahead to the year 2050, saying manufacturing will have to change a lot in this time, for example by increasing the efficiency with which energy and materials are used, so as to counteract possible volatility when it comes to resources’ availability and cost.

The publication suggests that the government takes additional action where initiatives that are already at work are concerned, as well as pointing out several new ways it could take action that would build upon its industrial strategy. It suggests creating an Office for Manufacturing, for example.

Liberal Democrat MP Vince Cable, the business secretary, has spoken of Britain’s proud tradition of manufacturing saying government has a desire to make sure this sector remains “ahead of the curve, leading global innovation and developing, once again, a worldwide appetite for British-made goods.”

Calling the sector vital for strengthening the economy, he also said he didn’t agree with the idea that it would definitely decline – an idea he he called “fatalistic” – but in fact had the opposite view.

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