One in four UK factories to make workers redundant

A quarter of manufacturers are preparing to make redundancies in the next six months as British industry braces for an economic downturn.

A further 45 per cent are considering job cuts later this year with just 30 per cent of producers ruling it out, according to new research.

Make UK, the sector’s trade organisation, described its findings as “awful” and called on Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, to ensure that the government’s furlough scheme allows “real flexibility” for workers to return on a part-time basis.

Pessimism appears to be growing across the country. A month ago 17 per cent of manufacturers believed it would take more than a year to return to normal trading conditions but this has risen to 38 per cent. Thirty-two per cent of respondents reported that orders had declined by more than half amid fears of a sustained drop in demand.

“There is no disguising the fact these figures make for awful reading with the impact on jobs and livelihoods across the UK,” Stephen Phipson, chief executive of Make UK, said.

Of the manufacturers planning redundancies, 33 per cent intend to cut up to a tenth of their workforce, 31 per cent intend to remove up to a quarter and 29 per cent are planning to lay off half of their workers.