British manufacturers are failing to maximise their opportunities due to a ‘make do and mend’ mentality and unwillingness to take risks, a parliamentary investigation concluded.
The investigation into the UK’s industrial culture, conducted by the All-Party-Parliamentary Manufacturing Group (APMG) found many British manufacturers pride themselves on hanging on to outdated equipment and refuse to invest into new technology.
MPs launched the investigation after becoming aware of an "odd resignation that some things just will never be fixed because of the culture of British industry".
Despite the pockets of world-class best practices in factory management and innovation, enabled by foreign investment in UK manufacturing, some sectors of the country’s industry remain surprisingly reluctant to change, which makes them vulnerable to future external shocks, MPs said.
"We know there are clear links between industrial culture and industrial competitiveness,” said Inquiry co-chair Chris White. “If UK manufacturing is to be truly competitive in global markets we need a manufacturing sector brimming with outward-facing, confident businesses constantly looking to reinvest and innovate.”
The APMG calls for ministers to do more to create a pro-investment culture in UK manufacturing and forge cross-party plans to set up a framework designed to encourage manufacturing businesses to adopt more ambitious growth strategies.