Midlands manufacturers call for help from next mayor

Regional infrastructure investment needed to support growth and helping manufacturers diversify.

Manufacturing in the West Midlands delivers £22 billion of output and provides some 304,000 well paid and highly skilled jobs for the local community. Average wages are 20% higher than across the rest of the regional economy, making the sector an attractive career path.

But in order for businesses to continue to thrive and to deliver the best jobs for the future, manufacturers have told us they need to see real investment in regional infrastructure projects such as HS2, Very Light Rail and to help the region capitalise in the exciting new journey of future mobility – with the acceleration of electric and hydrogen vehicles.

Supporting manufacturers to deliver the jobs of the future is also key through the development of digital skills at every level, making it possible to upskill employees throughout their careers, boosting productivity and creating the best quality jobs to deliver economic growth across the whole of the region.

Equally important is industrial diversification and support through policies which allow the transformation of the manufacturing sector, taking it to a position where it can take advantage of the vibrant new and innovating industries throughout the West Midlands.

To effectively level up across the West Midlands, manufacturers want to see a coordinated, regional approach to drive the right changes through transport and digital infrastructures. This would enable manufacturers to expand to new, high demand subsectors whilst bringing inward investment, prosperity and well paid jobs to communities across the region.

Charlotte Horobin, Make UK Region Director – Midlands and East, said “Manufacturing has always had a crucial presence in the economy of the West Midlands and it’s vital that the future Mayor continues to build on the region’s strength.

“Manufacturers in the West Midlands can continue to drive growth through creating well paid, skilled jobs and it is vital that future opportunities provided through the shift to net zero are taken. Building upon this, the mayor must ensure that the region’s infrastructure is upgraded to boost future inward investment and delivers an investment acceleration in digital and green technologies that will help create the upskilled and innovative jobs of the future.”

Rowan Crozier, CEO of C Brandauer & Co Ltd, added: “As an SME manufacture founded in the jewellery quarter in the centre of Birmingham, manufacturing in the West Midlands is in our DNA. Brandauer, who hold a Queens Award for International Trade are leading the advanced manufacturing renaissance, supplying over a billion stamped metal components and associated tooling directly from the West Midlands to 22 countries world-wide.

“The manufacturing sector is a massive contributor to GDP in the region and its success is key to our recovery and future growth post pandemic and Brexit.”