Sewtec hosts important industry event on the ‘manufacturing revival’

22 July 2022

On Monday 18th of July, Sewtec welcomed some of the country’s foremost manufacturing experts, business leaders and academics to our Wakefield headquarters for an important panel discussion around the manufacturing revival.

The event was in partnership with the highly-esteemed Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and The Institute for Prosperity (JMI) and offered the opportunity to discuss the future of the manufacturing industry and the critical role it can play in helping the UK overcome the present economic crisis.

On the panel, we welcomed John Mills, founder of JMI, Mike Wilson, MTC’s Chief Automation Officer, Dr Yan Wang of the University of Brighton, Tom St John of The Manufacturer and our very own Sewtec Chairman Mark Cook. We also welcomed JMI Chair and former government minister, Caroline Flint who was responsible for moderating the panel.

Key members of the Yorkshire business community were also in attendance, including representatives from the Mayor of West Yorkshire’s office and the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, and members and key executives from Wakefield council and some of Yorkshire’s largest businesses.

The discussion

So, what was discussed and concluded amongst the experts on the panel? Attention was turned to the various ways that a ‘manufacturing revival’ could be the key to helping overcome some of the challenges currently faced in the UK.

The key conclusions were:

  • Manufacturing holds the potential to rebalance investment, drive higher levels of GDP growth, create more jobs and increase British exports abroad
  • We must strive for an environment where young people and especially girls see a future for themselves working in the industry
  • Lowering the value of the Pound would help reindustrialise the country as British-made goods would be made cheaper and therefore more competitive overseas
  • Remanufacturing would help the wider economy shorten supply chains whilst assisting the manufacturing sector in becoming more sustainable and hitting Net Zero targets
  • Automation and robotics at all levels of manufacturing in the UK would enable us to continue competing effectively as a manufacturing powerhouse globally
  • We need to do more to transform perceptions of our industry as being ‘dirty and unsafe’ to that of being an innovative, high-tech and cutting-edge sector

Ian Walch, Managing Director at Sewtec says, “To be asked to host this event and to be involved in these important conversations amongst some of the industry’s leading experts working to shape the future of manufacturing is a huge honour. These are challenging times, but the passion felt amongst the panellists and all those involved gives us the drive to ensure that this industry continues to thrive.

“At Sewtec, we’re proud to be a part of the future of manufacturing, providing hundreds of highly skilled jobs and investing in emerging technology and exporting British-made goods.”