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GAMBICA joins drive to boost the UK electronics industry

27 June 2013

GAMBICA has joined the UK government and a number of trade bodies with the joint aim to build a £120bn UK electronic systems industry within seven years.

GAMBICA CEO, Graeme Philp
GAMBICA CEO, Graeme Philp

This will create an additional 150,000 skilled jobs across the UK if the plan is realised. Based on the Electronic Systems Challenges and Opportunities (ESCO) committee report  the strategy document reveals how the sector can grow to contribute 7.1 percent of GDP by 2020, placing it among the top five UK industries. Electronics would then support over one million skilled jobs, making it a top five UK employer. 

Michael Fallon is co-chairing the electronics systems forum within ESCO and GAMBICA has led the manufacturing work stream for the report and successfully recruited Juergen Maier, managing director of Siemens UK and Ireland industry sector, into the group. 

The Report was created for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills with Michael Fallon MP, minister of state for Business and Enterprise and minister of state for Energy, at the launch. 

“Industrial electronics, notably instrumentation and automation, has a key part to play in the expansion of the UK’s high value manufacturing base,” explained Graeme Philp (pictured), CEO of GAMBICA. 

“It generates wealth not only in automation and manufacturing but also in other sectors. The report makes several key recommendations, including measures to improve supply chains and strategic procurement, the skills pipeline and the formation of a think tank to identify future growth sectors.

“According to the Office of National Statistics, over 5,300 companies in the UK classify themselves as electronics systems manufacturers by their standard industrial classification (SIC) codes. Those companies together employ more than 220,000 people in the UK.

“The survey that we undertook as part of the ESCO report found that around a quarter of the companies that off-shored their manufacturing during the last 20 years have re-shored it. The prime reason given for this is the hidden costs associated with off-shoring such as quality control issues. These are much more difficult to manage at a distance.”

The UK is already renowned as a leading innovator in the electronic systems sector, and 14 of the world’s top 20 semiconductor companies have established design and/or manufacturing operations in the UK. However, compared to South Korea, which has a similar size, GDP and population, the UK has previously failed to create strong international electronics brands. 

The report calls for a long-term strategic approach between Government and industry to ensure that the right ecosystem is in place to encourage the investment and entrepreneurship. It is believed that this will trigger the rise of these high-growth enterprises.

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