Supply chains are vital if businesses are to get the right stock to market and continue to succeed. To help ensure that UK businesses stay competitive and safeguard jobs, the government has announced that it will be providing extra funding for companies to strengthen their supply chain operations.
In particular the £100 million cash injection will support “reshoring” – companies bringing their manufacturing operations back to the UK from overseas destinations such as Eastern Europe and Asia. The funds will be added to the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI), which the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) says has already helped a number of firms to set up domestic operations.
It is clear the government believes the initiative will help to safeguard existing jobs as well as creating new opportunities for employees with a wide range of different skills. As well as generating new roles for those with supply chain and logistics experience, BIS is hoping the return of manufacturing businesses to the UK will mean more jobs there too.
According to government figures, the manufacturing sector already supports around 2.5 million jobs as well as contributing £140 billion to the economy every year.
“High value manufacturing creates jobs and wealth here so I’m delighted to see the government getting behind it,” says Terry Scuoler, chief executive of manufacturers’ organisation EEF.
“Our own research shows that in the last three years, one in six companies have reshored production back to the UK with many turning to a UK-based supply chain for parts and components.”
Employers will be able to start bidding for this latest round of funding at some point this spring, and it is hoped the results will be seen quickly. BIS says that the four previous rounds have already directly created or protected over 15,000 individual jobs. A similar amount have apparently been safeguarded or generated indirectly.
Business secretary Vince Cable told the MACH manufacturing technology showcase in Birmingham last week: “A strong manufacturing sector is vital to a balanced economic recovery, and I want to ensure that Britain’s supply chains are up to the task of supporting the sector in the long term.”