The UK electronics manufacturing industry 1997-2003: a case study of the effect of globalization
journal contributionposted on 20.05.2009, 13:07 authored by Patrick WebbPatrick Webb, Fiona M. Reed, P. Carpineta, Kathryn Walsh
Statistical data and information from industry interviews are used to build a picture of the implications of, and responses to, globalization in the key industry of electronics contract manufacturing in the UK. A comprehensive list of companies in the sector with associated employment and turnover data has been created from a variety of sources. Comparison of 2003 data with a 1997 dataset produces a unique longitudinal statistical picture of the industry over a period marked by the increasing influence of globalization. Total employment in the industry has decreased by 39 per cent from approximately 37 600 to 23 100 between 1997 and 2003. This breaks down into a decline in the printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing subsector of 61 per cent, from 16 300 to around 6400, and a much smaller decline in the printed circuit board sub-contract assembly (PCBA) subsector of 22 per cent, from approximately 21400 to 16700. There has been a major shift in employment distribution away from large companies. Interview results indicate that the loss of large company capacity may have strategic implications for future technological capability. However, the UK is seen as a source of innovation and retention of strong engineering skills is key to bringing new products to the market.
- Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering