More than half of firms (54%) questioned by the Manufacturing Advisory Service?s Barometer are looking to create new jobs – a 14% increase on the same period last year. This is the highest level of recruitment confidence since the report began three years ago. The figures are reinforced by sales growth stats ? 61% of firms reported an increase in the previous six months and 73% expect to win more work between now and October ? a 14% and 9% rise respectively from March 2013. Responses also reveal a record appetite for investment in new plant and machinery (59%) and in developing new technologies (52%). Business Minister Michael Fallon said: “Britain’s manufacturers are helping drive the UK economic recovery. Through our industrial strategy and economic plan, the Government will continue to work closely with this vital sector to ensure that confidence stays high, creating more highly-skilled jobs and a stronger economy for everyone.? Steven Barr, Head of MAS, said: ?We have seen consistent signs during the last twelve months that firms are ramping up capacity, in order to meet increasing orders and take advantage of work coming back to the UK. ?This is the clearest signal yet that our manufacturers believe the upturn is sustainable. Three record figures for recruitment and investment in machinery and technology suggest many small manufacturers are planning for the long-term and, encouragingly, they are taking action now to manage future expansion.?
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