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Upbeat message from engineering body

‘Positive ‘ industry shrugs off Brexit and indyref

Companies are shrugging off fears over independence and Brexit as optimism in Scotland’s engineering industry hits its highest level since 2014.

Business are instead focusing on the advantages of low sterling and cheap money to drive exports, according to the latest quarterly review from trade body Scottish Engineering.

However, they are investing more in training – an indication of a need to address Brexit-induced skills shortages.

Bryan Buchan, CEO of Scottish Engineering, said: “Companies appear to have put behind them fears of a further Scottish independence referendum and the uncertainty of Brexit as they take advantage of the relatively low cost of borrowing and the benefit of a weak sterling for exports.

“We are also recognising that banks are adopting a more sanguine approach to good business justifications in their dealings with manufacturing companies.

“As regards training, companies are addressing the shortage of specific skill sets and are either increasing their apprentice intake or upskilling members of their existing workforces.

“Either way, they are ensuring that they will be able to accommodate the orders which they are winning.”

UK orders (44%up,30%same,26%down) and exports (39%up,36%same,25%down) both continue in a positive vein.

This is ensuring that output volumes (41%up,35%same,24%down) remain healthy and capacity use (40%up,48%same,12%down) is at its highest level for six years.

Staffing levels continue in a positive manner (32%up,54%same,14%down) with the industry as a whole reporting an increase in the amount of overtime being worked (43%up,36%same,21%down).

Overall, the engineering industry is performing well and the mood across the sector is upbeat as is demonstrated by the level of optimism across the industry (36%up,53%same,11%down) which remains very positive.


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