Manufacturers ‘risk-averse’

British manufacturers rely too much on make-do-and-mend practices, says the new report

British manufacturers rely too much on make-do-and-mend practices, says the new report

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British manufacturers are failing to be truly competitive because they are risk-averse and often pride themselves on hanging on to outdated equipment, according to a cross-party inquiry.

Make-do-and-mend outweighs the rest of the world’s emphasis on beoming more competitive, results showed.

MPs launched an investigation into the nation’s industrial culture after becoming aware of an “odd resignation that some things just will never be fixed because of the culture of British industry”.

During their probe, the All-Party Parliamentary Manufacturing Group (APMG), was told told how UK manufacturers “often pride themselves on the ability to retain outdated kit” and have a “make do and mend” mentality.

Foreign investment in UK manufacturing has created pockets of world-class best practice in factory management and innovation but this has “not yet permeated fully” into all sections of industry, MPs said.

They warned there are pockets of industry “that are not resilient to inevitable future external shocks”.

The APMG calls for ministers to do more to create a pro-investment culture in UK manufacturing and forge cross-party plans to set up a framework designed to encourage manufacturing businesses to adopt more ambitious growth strategies.

Inquiry co-chair Chris White said: “We know there are clear links between industrial culture and industrial competitiveness.

If UK manufacturing is to be truly competitive in global markets we need a manufacturing sector brimming
with outward-facing, confident businesses constantly looking to reinvest and innovate.

“This report lays out clear proposals for how the Government can bring about exactly that environment.”

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