Historically, London was a significant manufacturing city, but in the second half of the 20th Century, the capital’s economy became highly service-oriented, with a focus on finance, insurance, retail and so on. Indeed, London’s manufacturing base pales in comparison to some other UK cities – with the smallest proportion of manufacturing workers in the country at only 2.8%. It isn’t hard to see why when one considers the high rates and running costs that come with locating a manufacturing site in the capital.
However, there are some significant industrial sites in the Greater London area. There is the world’s largest site for making diesel engines at Ford Dagenham for example. There are also a number of famous food and beverage brands with manufacturing sites located in London; with Nestle in Hayes, Fuller’s Brewery in Chiswick, Warburtons in Brimsdown and Tate and Lyle in Silvertown. There are also some air and land systems companies running manufacturing centres in the capital, and of course BAE headquarters as well.
Rates of pay for manufacturing staff will be higher in London than elsewhere, but of course inflated living costs reflect this. Big manufacturing firms often employ recruitment agencies to fulfil staffing needs, particularly for temporary jobs. These employment companies take workers on as self-employed subcontractors, meaning payroll and contracts are looked after at point of contact with the agency.