Britain was the birthplace of modern manufacturing and has a significant role to play in the global economy. But there are cries that the UK no longer can compete or, in fact, has given up completely, when it comes to inventing, creating and building products for the 21st century.
This is so far from reality. The fact that Britain is still in the top ten exporting countries in the world should demonstrate how British expertise is still globally-respected.
Instead of getting embarrassed about showcasing our talents on the world stage, we need to start shouting about our manufacturing strengths.
Hopefully, Business Secretary Vince Cable’s “Make it in Great Britain” campaign will make a difference. It aims to celebrate the successes of the manufacturing sector, challenge inaccurate views of manufacturing and encourage young people to consider a career in the industry.
The Business Secretary is looking for 30 “industry champions” for his campaign. But I think we all have to be ambassadors for British manufacturing.
A decent proportion of the new boilers we fit at Pimlico Plumbers are built in the UK. In the future, I would like to say that they are all made here.
If we are really going to achieve long-term economic growth, there has to be a shift away from the financial and service sectors and back towards manufacturing. Let’s remember: Britain’s Got Manufacturing Talent.
Charlie Mullins launched Pimlico Plumbers in 1979 with just a bag of tools and an old van bought at auction. The company now has more than 133 professional plumbers, 35 support staff and a £15m turnover.