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In recent years, against the backdrops of an ageing workforce and, post-COVID 19 pandemic, high staff turnover and growth in long-term sickness absence, manufacturers have increasingly invested in the health and wellbeing of their staff, according to Make UK’s latest research. 

In order to thrive in the future, manufacturers need a resilient and sustainable skilled workforce, with investment in the health and wellbeing of all staff a crucial part of achieving this. Whether that’s making workplaces more accessible to those with health conditions, enabling people to return to work after long-term absence, or offering measures like flexible working arrangements to support employees with different needs.

With Government policy increasingly geared towards addressing the persistently high number of people identified as ‘economically inactive’ as a result of ill health, and the manufacturing sector struggling to recruit and retain talent at all levels, both industry and policymakers are looking to find solutions to maximise the number of skilled individuals available to work.

That’s why we’ve published A Healthier Manufacturing Workforce – wellbeing and work in UK manufacturing, which further examines our findings and makes recommendations to industry and policymakers alike on how they can ensure the health and wellbeing of their staff for the long term.

For more support with improving employee wellbeing training, consultancy or implementing a wellbeing survey, contact [email protected] 

Winning the Battle for Talent | Make UK 

Health & Wellbeing Services | Make UK 

Safety Culture | Make UK 

Investment in workforce wellbeing is more than just a perk for employees – at a time when recruitment and retention still pose a challenge for many manufacturers, it is a critical part of improving productivity. 

Our research showing increasing levels of investment shows that the sector understands the benefits of this, but remains on a journey from a culture of simply managing sickness absence to one of actively preventing ill health through a focus on wellbeing. To avoid the risk of more people leaving work due to sickness, the Government needs to act by introducing a long-promised expansion of tax relief on health and wellbeing services.


Jamie Cater Head of Employment and Skills policy at Make UK

Available resources

Publication / Make UK / Industry report