At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, manufacturing began to take shape in Wales.  It became a powerhouse for heavy industry, from mining and metalworking to coal production and shipbuilding. So, manufacturing has long been integral to the Welsh economy and still plays a vital role today. The shift towards lighter manufacturing has seen Wales become a leader in high-value manufacturing sectors. For example, there has been investment into sectors such as electronics, technology, aerospace, automotive, and healthcare.

Some recent examples of this include:

– The manufacturing action plan, which was recently announced by the Welsh government. It aims to secure millions of pounds in investment and create thousands of new jobs in manufacturing across Wales.

– The announcement that UK-based semiconductor manufacturer IQE investing £350 million in a manufacturing facility in Cardiff, which created at least 1,000 new jobs.

– The decision by Mercedes-Benz to open a manufacturing plant near St Asaph, Wales, which is expected to create over 200 new jobs and boost the local economy.

– The partnership between Airbus and Broughton, Wales-based manufacturing firm Orbex that will see the production of carbon composite fins and nose cones for satellites.

Manufacturing In Wales Key Numbers

The manufacturing industry is a key sector of the Welsh economy, employing around 190,000 people and accounting for almost half of all exports from Wales. In recent years, however, the sector has come under pressure as a result of increased global competition and the recessions the UK has experienced in recent years.

– The manufacturing sector in Wales contributes about £11.1 billion to the Welsh economy, or 46% of all exports from Wales.

– The manufacturing sector employs around 190,000 people, accounting for almost half of all jobs in manufacturing in the UK.

– Productivity per worker in manufacturing was around £47,700 in Wales, compared to £48,900 for the whole of the UK.

– Despite these challenges, manufacturing remains a key part of Wales’ economy and there are signs that the sector is starting to recover. In 2017, manufacturing exports from Wales reached £12 billion for the first time, an increase of 7% on 2016 figures.

Whether manufacturing in Wales will continue to thrive in the future remains to be seen. However, the Welsh Government view it as a key sector for economic development.


Welsh Government’s Investment is Key to Growth

The Welsh government is making great strides for the people of Wales by investing in the manufacturing sector. According to the Welsh government, this sizeable investment will create a number of job vacancies and provide more economic stability all around the country. Manufacturing has long been a mainstay in many communities. So if this investment proves to be successful, it could lead to more success and opportunities further down the line. The Welsh government’s determination to revitalise the manufacturing industry is sure to have an impactful effect on the economy of Wales.

To help manufacturing in Wales thrive once again, the Welsh government has published a Manufacturing Action Plan, setting out a number of measures to support and promote the industry. The Manufacturing Action Plan lays out a number of key objectives, including promoting exports, simplifying business regulations, and developing new markets for manufacturing products in Wales.

There are also a number of initiatives underway to help manufacturing businesses in Wales succeed, including training programs to give workers the skills they need, and support for companies looking to expand or develop new products. Overall, it is clear that the Welsh government is committed to ensuring a bright future for manufacturing in Wales, and we can expect continued investment and support over the coming years.


Importance of High Value Manufacturing Based in Wales

High value manufacturing is important to the economy of Wales because it provides essential product output, contributes to a variety of manufacturing related industries, and creates jobs that pay well and encourage economic growth.

Overall, it is clear that high value manufacturing in Wales is an important contributor to the economy and a key driver of innovation. With strong government support and continued investment, we can be confident that high value manufacturing in Wales will continue to thrive well into the future.


Examples of High Value Manufacturers Based in Wales

1. Airbus – As one of the world’s largest aerospace manufacturing companies, Airbus employs thousands of workers in Wales. Its manufacturing facilities near Broughton and St Asaph are major contributors to manufacturing in Wales, producing cutting-edge aircraft components for global markets.

2. IQE – A UK-based semiconductor manufacturing company, IQE has invested heavily in manufacturing in Wales. In 2019, it announced a major investment of £350 million to build a manufacturing facility near Cardiff, which is expected to create over 1,000 new jobs and generate significant economic benefits for the region.

3. Mercedes-Benz – With manufacturing operations across North Wales, Mercedes-Benz is one of the largest manufacturing employers in Wales. In 2019, it opened a manufacturing plant near St Asaph that produces the X-Class pick-up truck for markets across Europe.

4. Orbex – A Broughton-based manufacturing firm, Orbex is a key partner to Airbus and other major manufacturers in Wales. It specializes in the manufacturing of aerospace components, and has partnered with Airbus to develop new technologies and products.

5. JCB – As one of the largest manufacturing companies in Wales, JCB is a global leader in construction equipment manufacturing. Founded in 1945, it currently employs thousands of workers across multiple manufacturing facilities throughout the country.

6. Ortho Clinical Diagnostics – With manufacturing operations in Wales dating back several decades. Ortho Clinical Diagnostics (OCD) is a leading player in the Welsh Life Sciences sector. They are contributing £2 billion annually to the Welsh economy. With state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Pencoed, Bridgend, OCD produces millions of life-saving diagnostic tests each week for diseases and medical conditions. With a growing focus on innovation, the company is committed to expanding its manufacturing operations in Wales.

7. Aston Martin – The Aston Martin manufacturing centre at St. Athan, South Wales is a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant. Furthermore, the 90-acre site is the home of Aston Martin’s first SUV and the DBX. Also, it has created up to 750 new highly-skilled jobs.

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