UK needs a Minister for Manufacturing to drive sector forward

The UK would benefit from a Minister for Manufacturing to recognise the strategic importance of this vital sector, according to the Head of Manufacturing at national, audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe.

Johnathan Dudley, who is also Managing Partner of the firm’s Midlands office at the heart of UK manufacturing, said the post should be at senior Cabinet level to recognise the critical contribution manufacturing makes to the UK economy.

He said:  “A dedicated minister would be well placed to target the previously unsupported plight of manufacturers in terms of frightening energy costs, supply chain issues around spiralling costs and unavailability of certain raw materials.

“Working to create a strategy to support our manufacturing sector, to add value by solving the problems of our world, both today and in the future while meeting the Levelling Up and Regeneration objectives at the same time.

“What’s more, it would help to solve our transport issues and contribute to solving the energy crisis while delivering on our net zero commitments made at the COP summit, just last year.

The percentage of GDP controlled by the manufacturing sector is often billed as limited, usually between 10-12%, but he points out that this radiates into other sectors too.

He said: “For every OEM job, there are ten others in the supply chain,  and these well paid jobs must surely provide support in other sectors such as retail, real estate, business and professional services, agriculture and others maybe?

“As an island we are short on natural resources but have a wealth of talent and a reputation for high-value add.”

He said there is a recognised need for world beating innovation in energy generation, transport, efficient food production, carbon offset and other global issues that have not been solved yet.

“Why shouldn’t it be the UK that solves these problems?

He said that UK technology is responsible for arguably the best aero engines in the world, and Great Britain is leading in designing the best ‘next generation’ small nuclear reactors too.

“We have the best aircraft carrier design, and we still build “the best 4×4… by far” – according to the advertising.

“Other areas where our innovators lead include ground-breaking LED driver technology, and the best designs for consumer goods, from handbags and clothes design, to vacuum cleaners.

“We also produce the best diggers, soon to be powered by hydrogen internal combustion engines; world beating innovation, being conceived designed and produced right here, right now.

He points out that major infrastructural projects in the UK, already emerging from the ground, will require UK-based engineering and manufacturing capability and a secure supply chain to deliver results in a manner that still achieves net zero targets and within budget.

These include major projects such as HS2, Hinkley Point and the various regional rail and road improvement network developments.

Dudley said: “The Chancellor is basing our Covid recovery on an export and innovation-led economy.

“A Manufacturing Minister should arguably be a cabinet post, to be strategic and drive an agenda where we are not reliant on rogue nations for power or semi-conductors and for rolling stock.

“We support manufacturing businesses – take a look at our annual outlook report and insights to see how we can help you –”

Ends (359 words) 


  • Miriam Sherwood, Director, People Communications & Marketing, Crowe UK. Tel: (0)121 543 1900,

Notes to Editors:

About us
Crowe is a national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm offering global reach and local expertise. We are an independent member of Crowe Global, one of the top 10 accounting networks in the world. With exceptional knowledge of the business environment, our professionals share one commitment, to deliver excellence.

We are trusted by thousands of clients for our specialist advice, our ability to make smart decisions and our readiness to provide lasting value. Our broad technical expertise and deep market knowledge means we are well placed to offer insight and pragmatic advice to all the organisations and individuals with whom we work. Close working relationships are at the heart of our effective service delivery.

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Crowe industry recognition

  • UK Member of one of the top 10 accounting networks in the world (International Accounting Bulletin World Survey 2021)
  • Top charity auditor (Charity Financials Auditor Benchmarking and Charity Finance Audit Survey, 2009 – 2020)
  • Ranked 5th in the AIM auditors ranking by number of audits (AIM Advisers Rankings Guide, January 2022)
  • 9th largest audit firm in the UK (UK fee income of audit firms that audit PIEs – by fee income on audit, FRC Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession, Figure 33, July 2021)
  • Risk Consultancy of the Year 2021 for the second consecutive year (InsuranceERM) – Crowe was recognised to be at forefront of two key areas of focus for insurers in 2020: operational resilience; and environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, including climate change.
  • Awarded Bronze for Accountancy Firm of the Year – Large (2020 Citywealth Magic Circle Awards)
  • Global Mobility Provider of the Year (Global Payroll Awards 2020)
  • Employment Tax Specialist of the Year (Global Payroll Awards 2019)