13 September 2023

UK metals sector optimistic despite challenges, says new report

Rising energy prices, the impact of life after the EU and labour shortages continue to be the main challenges facing the UK metals sector, according to a new report from the UK Metals Council.

© MRT Castings

Nearly a quarter of firms completing the Council's survey admitted to adjusting supply chain strategies or sourcing alternatives, while just under a third want enhanced government support to navigate trade barriers and custom procedures in the wake of Brexit.

Despite the widespread challenges, 70% of respondents are optimistic or very optimistic about future business prospects, underlining the resilience of the sector and its ability to innovate.

22% of manufacturers are looking for improved energy supply contracts to bring prices down to more affordable levels, with just 31% of businesses saying that they have an effective recruitment strategy in place for filling the well-documented labour gaps.

The UK Metals Council is made up of 12 trade associations from across the full spectrum of the metals supply chain, from primary manufacturing to recycling.

In total, it represents the interests and views of over 11,000 companies, employing directly and indirectly nearly one million people.

The first ever State of the Metals Industry in the UK Report has been launched to provide a sector snapshot of the opportunities and challenges faced by the domestic metals industry and the prospects for future growth and sustainability.

All the findings will be sent to government to help it shape future policy and support, while the data will also be available for sector specialists, companies and academia to use for intelligence gathering, bids and lobbying.