Metals Sector Remains Optimistic Despite International Trade, Energy, and Labour Challenges, Warns New Report to be officially released at UK Metals Expo
Rising energy prices, the impact of trade after Brexit and labour shortages continue to be the main challenges facing the UK metals sector according to a new report due to be launched next week.
Nearly a quarter of firms in the UK Metals Council’s State of the Metals Industry in the UK Report survey admitted to adjusting supply chain strategies or sourcing alternatives, whilst just under a third want enhanced Government support to navigate trade barriers and custom procedures in the wake of Brexit.
22% of manufacturers are also looking for improved energy supply contracts to bring prices down to more affordable levels, with just 31% of businesses saying that they have an effective recruitment strategy in place for filling the well-documented labour gaps.
There are positive sentiments in the report, which will be officially released during the opening address at UK Metal Expo in Birmingham on September 13th at 09:50 am.
The opening adress, hosted by UK Metals Expo Chair Lord Redesdale, will present the report’s findings and engage in discussions on their implications for the entire sector. Participants in this session include Labour MP Stephen Kinnock, UK Metals Council Chair Rachel Eade MBE, and Cast Metal Forming’s CEO Pam Murrell.
Despite the widespread challenges, 70% of respondents are optimistic or very optimistic about future business prospects, underlining the resilience of the sector and its ability to innovate.
We touch metals every day, whether that is in our homes, in the cars, planes and trains we travel in, the medical devices we rely on, as well as tools and machinery used for their production,” explained Rachel Eade MBE, Chair of the UK Metals Council.
Importantly, it is now recognised that metals can be infinitely and readily recycled into new parts, something that cannot be said for many other materials in modern life – we need to value metals more as we move to a Net Zero economy.
Foundation industries will continue to play a critical role in the way we all live, and this vital sector needs a voice to ensure that the Government understands the journey we are on.”
She went on to add:
This is why we came up with the State of the Metals Industry in the UK Report, a unique opportunity for us to canvas the views of primes, metal producers and those in the downward supply chain.
The issues they are facing span from supply chain disruption because of Brexit to availability of raw materials and how they can mitigate the cost of energy – a key issue when you consider levels of consumption in our industry.
Skills and the ability to get new people into our sector is also a challenge that is holding many of them back as they look to support the UK’s desire to move towards Net Zero. We’ll be highlighting this to Government at UK Metals Expo on 13 and 14 September at the NEC in Birmingham.”
The UK Metals Council is made up of 12 trade associations from across the full spectrum of the metals supply chain, from primary manufacturing to recycling.
In total, it represents the interests and views of over 11,000 companies, employing directly and indirectly nearly one million people.
The first ever State of the Metals Industry in the UK Report was launched to provide a sector snapshot of the opportunities and challenges faced by the domestic metals industry and the prospects for future growth and sustainability.
It will be officially available from Wednesday September 13th and all the findings will be sent to Government to help it shape future policy and support, whilst the data will also be available for sector specialists, companies and academia to use for intelligence gathering, bids and lobbying.
In conclusion, Lord Redesdale, Chair of UK Metals Expo, noted,
is the ideal platform for launching this report, with more than 200 exhibitors and 4,000 industry professionals from 52 countries. It aligns seamlessly with the UK’s Net Zero ambitions, relying on advanced materials, manufacturing excellence, and engineering innovation.
A robust domestic metals supply chain is pivotal to achieving our objectives, fostering energy-efficient production, nurturing circular economy practices, and propelling sustainable progress.”
We anticipate lively discussions on the report’s findings over the two-day event and eagerly await feedback from attendees.”
UK Metals Expo is the leading for Metal Manufacturing and Engineering, uniting the entire supply chain on 13th and 14thSeptember at the NEC in Birmingham, UK.
The exhibition, seminar program, and all networking opportunities are free, making it accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises, allowing them to capitalise on this unique opportunity to stay ahead in this dynamic and ever-evolving industry.
Register now to secure your place and take advantage of this opportunity to network with industry peers, sources innovation and secure your supply chain for the future.
For more information on UK Metals Expo 2023, including registration details and a full list of exhibitors, visit the event website at www.ukmetalsexpo.com