West Midlands small and medium sized manufacturers are optimistic for growth after reporting a rise in turnover in the last six months, according to an industry survey.
Some 73 per cent of respondants from the West Midlands and North West grouping of the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) National Barometer, expect further growth by the end of the year.
The quarterly report said 46 per cent of companies plan to take on staff in the coming year, while another 44 per cent said employee numbers will remain the same.
Some 62 per cent have seen turnover rise in the last six months.
MAS, which is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, provides support for manufacturing businesses in England.
Birmingham based Barkley Plastics, which specialises in design, tooling and moulding, anticipates an increase in sales over the next six months.
Director Maurice Cassidy said: “We have continued to pick up new work and are now looking to build on this with a £460,000 investment in a new machining centre, conventional injection and micro moulding machines, additional robotics and state-of-the-art measuring capabilities.
“From talking to a number of existing and potential clients we are expecting growth in key industries and this will involve taking on members of staff to cope with demand.”
The report revealed that 56 per cent of companies in the West Midlands and North West are planning to increase spend on premises and machinery, while 57 per cent plan to invest in developing new technology.
More than 91 per cent of firms admitted they could growth through improvements in operational efficiency.
Simon Griffiths, MAS area director for the North and West, said: “Investment by the major original equipment manufacturers and interest from overseas companies to source from England has helped facilitate demand.
“It will be interesting to see if employers can find the skilled staff they require to fill the positions, bringing into focus the need for companies to create and support Apprenticeships so we can start to fill the talent pipeline again.”