North West manufacturers are bracing themselves for the imminent impact of a fourth industrial revolution, but raise grave concerns over the UK’s ability to play a leading role, according to new research out today from EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation.
The revolution – dubbed Industry 4.0 and driven by rapid advances in technology – will become a widespread reality of manufacturing life within the next decade, with eight in ten manufacturers expecting their business to be affected by 2025.
Nearly nine in ten say the UK should be taking a leading role, seeing clear benefits to the sector and the rebalancing of the wider UK economy.
But six in ten warn that the UK risks being left behind, potentially knocking back Britain’s burgeoning industrial renaissance.
They have called for the next Government to ensure the right industrial strategy and support framework is in place.
Darrell Matthews, North West region director at EEF, said today: “The fourth industrial revolution will change the global face of manufacturing beyond recognition.
“The UK must take a leading role if we are to realise our ambitions for a healthy, balanced and growing economy.
“The next decade will bring great and rapid change and the early-adopting nations will maximise the opportunities presented by new technologies and thrive as a result.
“There will inevitably be winners and losers, which is why we should take note when manufacturers say there is a real danger of the UK being left behind.
“Our sector’s ability to remain on top of the fourth industrial wave hinges on the decisions made now and over the next decade by consecutive governments.”