Slightly odd question maybe but according to the latest foundry census, about 480 in the UK. The census was commissioned by the Cast Metals Federation (CMF), the work being carried out by Enterprise Research Centre (ERC), and gives a snapshot of the UK foundry industry, it’s relevance to the economy, it’s strengths and weaknesses and the challenges it faces. You can find out more about the CMF here and the ERC here.
A short piece by Dr Pam Murrel, CEO of the CMF announcing it’s release can be found here. It makes interesting reading. As we all know, since 2008 and the Great Crash, foundries in the UK have faced many challenges. Contracting numbers, a lack of investment and skills shortages to name but a few. It would seem, however, that the ones who have faced these challenges and not only survived but prospered, are well placed to grow and thrive.
If you’d like to read the whole census, here it is.
If there’s one thing I’ll take away from it, it’s the old question of skills or rather the lack of them on the job market. I discussed this in my last post here. Hopefully the opening of the National Foundry Training Centre will go some way to addressing this.
Finally, a census like this for any industrial sector in the UK is quite rare. Other countries produce this sort of data on a much more frequent basis, often having a legal requirement to do so. If we as an industry and the wider engineering family want to persuade government that we are worth their time and effort, how can we do that if we can’t show them on a regular basis just how important we are and the challenges we face. The more we can inform them, the better the result although this is government we’re talking about so don’t hold your breath.
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