The report says that medium-sized manufacturers have boosted their turnovers by an average of 29.2% (from £158.4bn to £204.6bn) over the past five years – putting them ahead of large manufacturers on 20.8%, and small businesses on 19.7%. They also raised their profits by 57.2% over the same period, compared to 17.6% for large firms, and a contraction of –111.8% among small manufacturers.
BDO warns that mid-sized manufacturers “may be overlooked” as the UK prepares to leave the EU. “Thriving mid-sized businesses are the driving force of growth in manufacturing,” says Tom Lawton, partner and head of manufacturing at BDO. “They contribute jobs, revenue, and profits to the manufacturing sector and the UK economy yet, because they are so hard to define, they are overlooked and undervalued.”
BDO’s New Economy report contains 22 recommendations, ranging from a call for the Government to support the implementation of Industry 4.0, to the creation of a long-term (15-20 year) industrial strategy. It also suggests that the Government should ensure simple, open access to global markets and talent, and should help to harness the potential of high-quality apprenticeships to bridge the skills gap and boost productivity.