PEOPLE must dispel the myth that the UK made more goods in the 1980s than the present day, a report has said.

The manufacturers’ organisation, EEF, says nearly 75 per cent of consumers believe the country’s manufacturing sector is weaker than 30 years ago.

It said manufacturing is driving the economic recovery, employing 2.6 million people and accounting for 11 per cent of GDP.

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Bosses added the sector is set for 3.6 per cent growth this year, with the North-East’s manufacturing output standing at more than £6bn a year.

However, the report, which surveyed more than 2,000 people, said only 36 per cent of consumers believe the UK’s manufacturing industry is growing.

Andrew Tuscher, EEF North-East director, said: “It’s time to ditch the urban myth that the UK made more goods in the 80s than it does today.

“The reality is that UK manufacturing is a huge success story.

“Manufacturers already have consumers’ backing, but if we arm them with the full facts about the strength, dynamism and versatility of this essential sector we will hopefully gain their pride too.

“This will encourage more young people to consider a career in our sector and make it easier to attract the talented and skilled employees needed for growth to continue at a pace.”