Industrialization in Britain had paved up ways for both labour intensive and capital intensive methods of production. In addition, there had been constant technological changes thus enabling the augmentation of labour as well as capital productivities, so that higher quantities could be produced employing the same amounts of factors of production. But the manufacturing units that required the use of proportionally more labour than capital base were found to be performing worse than their capital intensive counterparts. This change was noticed since the latter part of the 20th century. The deterioration of the labour intensive units proved to be a serious drawback in the path of the economic growth potentials of UK, since these units had almost been like a bastion behind the nation’s industrial base. One such industry that used to be a stronghold for the nation’s secondary sector was the steel industry. The nation which used to be the largest manufacturer of steel in the world has been outstripped by China in total quantity of crude steel production. In fact, it has also fallen back from its initial status of the world’s largest exporter of steel – the nations that have outshone the British steel giant are China and Japan, accounting for 52 and 35 percent of the total steel exports, while the figure for England lingers around 32 percent. The losses that it had to face in recent years throw some light upon the pessimistic turn that lies ahead in the future for the industry. On account of this gradual slide of the British steel sector from the industrial forefront, UK, which happened to be the most powerful and strongest of all economies even a century back, is now lurking at number six among its contenders.
The deteriorating position of the British manufacturing unit has forced in the opening up of newer avenues to keep the flow of income smooth within the nation. This is the reason behind the