Public gives vote of confidence for UK manufacturing in new research

03 June 2020

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The UK public stands firmly behind the manufacturing sector to support the UK & protect the NHS through the coronavirus pandemic & into the future, according to new research in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic aiming to provide a national ‘barometer’ to UK manufacturing & engineering.

Almost three in four (74%) of the UK public believe that the manufacturing sector has stepped up to meet the challenge of supporting the UK, as the coronavirus pandemic took a grip on the nation in March 2020.

The same number of respondents (74%) believe that a strategic long-term plan for helping UK manufacturing to be more productive and competitive will help insulate us from future pandemics and go some way to protect UK GDP, of which manufacturing currently contributes over 17%. Furthermore, three quarters (75%) of the UK public believe more strongly in the importance of the UK manufacturing as a result of coronavirus.
 
The research, conducted among a representative sample of 2,000 adults by research consultancy, Populus for industrial communications firm, Cadence Innovation Marketing, also found that nearly eight in ten people (76%) are concerned about cheap imported goods in the wake of coronavirus.
 
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted global supply chains and resulted in many UK factories switching production to medical devices and products, such as ventilators (or components for them) or PPE, in a bid to help the NHS cope. Manufacturing has taken a central role in the unfolding drama and rarely in recent times has it been the subject of so much media and public attention.
 
Tom Spencer, Managing Director at Cadence said: “Our snapshot poll sought to delve deeper into what’s behind the media commentary by asking a representative sample of over 2000 UK adults for their opinion on a range of topics around UK manufacturing raised by coronavirus. The results offer an insight into changing public opinion about the importance and relevance of UK manufacturing.
 
More than two in three of those questioned believe that the UK manufacturing sector has risen to the challenge of coronavirus, with just 6% disagreeing with them. “This huge public vote of confidence in our often beleaguered and under-supported sector is just one of several remarkable statistics thrown up by our research,” added Spencer
 
The study, which was carried out in early May 2020, clearly shows that the UK public has swung behind UK industry at a time when many manufacturers have stepped up to support the nation and its much-loved health service.
 
Steve Brambley, Chief Executive Officer of UK trade association for instrumentation, control, automation & laboratory technology, GAMBICA said: “The result shows that there is a genuine opportunity for the UK to open a new page in its history, as it embarks on an era of digital transformation that will define it for generations to come. It remains to be seen if the pandemic itself, resultant global economic turmoil, and Brexit will distract or divert resources away from an environment that will support the regeneration of UK industry, but this poll makes one thing abundantly clear: the people of the UK stand firmly behind our industry and believe strongly in its future.
 
The Annual Attitudes to UK Industry study is a series of snapshot polls and in-depth research culminating in an annual report to be presented to the media. Cadence Innovation Marketing works with leading organisations across industry and has sponsored the study’s launch to help keep communications surrounding the sector’s importance and contribution to the economy front of mind. More information is available at www.attitudestoukindustry.co.uk


The annual Attitudes to UK Industry study
This report measures interest, attitudes and support for industry among the population, employers, employees, future engineers and shareholders. Cadence Innovation Marketing regularly gathers the views of over 2,000 people across the UK using robust research methods. This data is then crunched to either provide our clients with confidential data that helps them to tell a story, or is collected and reproduced to provide a barometer of public perception on UK industry.

Methodology:
Research & strategy consultancy, Populus conducted an online sample of 2092 UK adults 18+ between 1st & 3rd May 2020. Data is weighted to be representative of the population of Great Britain. Targets for quotas and weights are taken from the National Readership Survey, a random probability F2F survey conducted annually with 34,000 adults. Populus is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by it rules. For further information, see: www.britishpollingcouncil.org/

About the sponsors
Cadence Innovation Marketing
are a ‘hands-on’ technical communications consultancy built on the heritage of Fisher Marketing, which was founded by John Fisher, a Chartered Engineer, member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE, now IET) and the Chartered Institute of Marketing, over 30 years ago.


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