Vacancies rise

Staff shortages costing UK factories £6 billion

Factories have thousands of vacancies

Manufacturers are losing £6bn in output as tens of thousands of factory jobs go unfilled, according to new labour market research.

There are 64,000 vacancies at manufacturing plants across the UK following a rise in factory activity after the pandemic lockdowns.

Make UK, the trade body representing the sector, said the shortage of workers is impacting on companies’ daily operations and their ability to fulfil contracts.  

The crisis is heightened by the number of people neither in work, nor looking for work. There are now 9.4m people of working age who fall into this category – the highest number in 13 years. It has coincided with the UK’s departure from the EU which has restricted the recruitment of workers from the continent.

James Brougham, senior economist at Make UK, said it was crucial for whichever party that wins the election to deliver a “modern, long term industrial strategy which goes beyond the 2030s and has cross Government support.”

Mr Brougham said: “This must now be a national endeavour and begin with a fundamental review of the Apprentice Levy and wider vocational training system.”

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