I have noticed that hardware electronics jobs (especially switch mode power supply design jobs) in UK are getting less and less over the last decade at least.
This is quite clearly because the British Pound is very highly valued, and therefore, its not possible to manufacture or engineer products such as Switch Mode Power Supplies [SMPS] in the UK any more. Its simply not profitable to do it in UK. The pound is so highly valued, that its cheaper to buy in SMPS’s from overseas. A UK owned SMPS company would simply not be able to compete with a similar company from another country.

The only hardware electronics companies that can operate as UK owned companies now are companies that are extremely highly skilled, and are making products that no one else in the world are capable of making, or alternately, the UK company owns the patent and so other companies in the world are not allowed to make them. Examples are Dyson and Blackstar Amplification, which are both UK owned companies who make exceptional “stand out” products. In Dyson’s case, they also hold patents for many of their brilliant products.

The reason for the high value of the pound is specifically “North Sea Oil”. This is what keeps the pound high. In short North sea oil is destroying the UK electronics industry. The high pound is though, making UK property seem like a pertinent investment to an overseas investor. –Because viewing a graph of UK currency over the years reveals that Sterling has stayed high, so its viewed as a good “Home” for people’s investment money, and property is always viewed as a great investment, because, at least in theory, it can never become totally worthless. This is why places such as London, UK are seeing prices of some small 2 bed terraced houses going for one million pounds. These are houses, that, before North Sea Oil happened, were lived in by the poorest of the poor working class of the day. Many were ex-council houses, or even church-run charity houses.

However, with UK owned electronics companies dying out for the reasons mentioned, UK citizens are now deciding not to study electronics. This is making it even harder for UK electronics companies to thrive. And because fewer UK citizens are electing to study electronics, the really high-tech specialist electronics companies in UK are finding it increasingly difficult to trade in UK aswell. A stop-gap answer has been to employ engineers from the Far East. Though in truth, most of the best Far Eastern engineers want to stay in their own country, after all, why go to a little island called UK, which will be a “poor little island” when North Sea Oil runs out (soon), when your own country is on the up-and-up.

A case in point is a small UK owned UV curing company near Bicester. UV curing is an exponentially growing market, a fantastic business, and the technology involved is not particularly difficult. This is exactly the kind of thing that UK cannot do competitively, due to the highly values pound. In spite of the great prospects for this market, the UK simply cannot hold down these kind of companies. They are moving overseas. Closure of the UK operation.

In 1998, Sir James Dyson predicted the decline of the British Electronics & Engineering industry…
See under “European single currency”

The UK politicians are thinking of ways to “keep Britain’s hand in” to Engineering. They use North Sea Oil profits to invite overseas companies to set up divisions in UK….the idea being that they will employ UK engineers and therefore keep the British Engineering industry maintained, ready for when North Sea Oil runs out.
However, this is simply not as effective as having your own industry.

The UK must act now and cap the North Sea Oil Fields (stop extracting oil) , de-value the pound, and bring back an intrinsic, UK owned Engineering and electronics industry….before the rot sets in too deeply. In the last 5 years in UK, the number of UK citizens electing to study Electronics at University level each year has dropped under the 400 mark. This clearly means there are not enough people to maintain Britain’s intended Engineering industry.
If you request the data on number of people studying Electronics in UK each year you get the figure of thousands,….however, this is primarily due to overseas students.
Of the 400 UK citizens mentioned here, most will take the “software” options, and dismiss hardware electronics completely.

A lot of UK owned companies in so-called “essential” areas are actually in receipt of UK government funding (which derives from North sea oil). This is how they survive. Lighting is considered an “essential” area (just imagine if a country couldn’t even make its own lights), so these receive significant oil-derived grants.
Of course , there are now no UK owned car companies, as they simply cant compete. Even Morgan cars use BMW engines.

The oilfields must be capped and stopped. Sterling must be de-valued. If this is not done, then when North Sea Oil soon runs out, UK will simply be a nation who squandered its wealth and vanished into poverty.

In effect, all we are doing with the oil profit is buying stuff that we are now not capable of making ourselves. Look on the roads the next time you drive and see for yourself what a race of “do-nothings” the UK has become. You won’t see a single UK made car. I sometimes wonder if the EU would want a nation of “do-nothings” to come and join it.