2022: A year of manufacturing opportunities

Published:  15 December, 2021

Despite the new restrictions which many people feel, including myself, have an air of Deja vu about them, manufacturers are in a substantially different position to 2020. Over the last few months, I have visited numerous exhibitions and events where new technologies have been demonstrated after years of development and I was impressed by the eagerness to showcase them despite the difficult global environment. This highlighted to me the real appetite of manufacturers wanting to get on and manufacture, and it is this optimism that I feel must not be lost despite the new restrictions.

These are short term measures,  and we must instead focus on the opportunities ahead in 2022, such as digitalisation and global expansion of UK companies. But it is inevitable that many are concerned of how the new restrictions may unravel and many manufacturers are currently analysing the potential impact to their businesses as a consequence of the new restrictions. But despite being a setback, it is not expected to have as significant affect as those within the hospitality, retail, and transport sectors.

The more worrying issue for businesses within the manufacturing sector is the oscillation between normal life and restrictions which makes things difficult to manage as a business. As has been highlighted by the CBI, Omicron will quite likely not be the last variant, and we therefore need to create consistency in our approach and build confidence by reducing this oscillation between normal life and restrictions that are currently having an unsettling impact on economic activity. Prioritising daily testing, rather than self-isolation, is a good step. However, firms need continued forward guidance and a commitment from government to prioritise ongoing free, mass rapid testing as we learn to live with the virus as well as targeted support as required.

I am optimistic that manufacturers and indeed society in general, are far better prepared to manage the current restrictions and we should be looking to 2022 with optimism rather the sombre perspective of 2020.

On behalf of the PWE team, I would like to wish all our readers, advertisers, and supporters a healthy and happy 2022.

Aaron Blutstein, Editor

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