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Manufacturing is a bedrock sector. It is a high-scale, but also high-value activity that requires continuous technology deployment. Manufacturing is a key enabler of defence and marine activity, large export potential and large supply chain contribution.
The sector is dominated by a few large organisations, but there is also a significant number of highly productive SMEs. A considerable number of manufacturers within the city are FDI (Foreign Direct Investors).
(13.9% of PLY employment)
GVA per FTE
GVA output of
(16.2% of Plymouth GVA)
above city average
Opportunities/Challenges to address
Persistent skills shortages
SMEs need assistance to diversify into new markets; UK or overseas
Help required to increase supply chain resilience
Need to innovate using Industry 4.0 principles
Identified courses of action
Analyse realistic new job pipeline and feed into Skills4Plymouth and local talent retention project activity.
Outcome: Support relevant skills delivery including upskilling both existing employees and job seekers with potential transferable skills.
Match local people to local jobs.
Understand and promote existing and new export assistance schemes.
Outcome: Grow sales, protect existing jobs and create new jobs.
Progress possibility of regional resource to map local supply chain.
Outcome: Ultimately to increase supply chain resilience and local procurement.
Progress possibility of regional version of Made Smarter support
Outcome: Heightened digital capability for the medium to longer term
Increase Sector innovation to increase productivity and competitiveness with public sector support
Outcome: Future proof the sector by safeguarding existing jobs and creating new knowledge intensive jobs.
Successes/Results to date
There has been and continues to be considerable investment happening across the city including, for example:
Plessey (doubling job numbers resulting from a new deal with Facebook);
Babcock (10 dock development);
Karsal Manufacturing Ltd. (Karsal have bought out PCH Manufacturing and will be recruiting further staff)
Kawasaki is experiencing a sales surge - enjoying a 60% hike in sales revenue since October 2020 as the global economy begins to recover. Sales are now predicted to reach £64.5m in 2022. Recruitment is currently the Plymouth plant’s biggest issue, staff numbers have been rising since June 2021 and the company still needs more staff.