Welcome to the Friday Brief for week-ending 11 October.
This week saw the latest MTA Members Quarterly Meeting. The interactive half day event was held at SECO’s UK Headquarters in Alcester and entitled Growing our Future Engineers. There was a presentation by Lee Kilgour, Principal at Aston University Engineering Academy (AUEA), on developing engineering talent followed by a presentation on ensuring apprenticeship retention delivered by Geoff Lloyd, Managing Director, Heller Machine Tools Ltd. As well as those themed presentations, members also heard from Steve Gee of Close Asset Finance on the funds they have available from the Regional Growth Fund.
While world financial markets have been nervous this week pending a resolution of the stand-off between US President Barack Obama and the Republican leadership in Congress, some press outlets in the UK have taken an interest in manufacturing output figures just released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for August. While the figures show a reduction in activity compared with July, comparing the three months of June, July and August with the previous three months (March, April and May 2013) there is an increase of +1.2%. It was ever thus, the media’s temptation to steal a quick headline at the expense of writing about the wider trends!
If you’re looking to make sense of the economy, especially as it relates to manufacturing technologies, then happily help is at hand with the MTA’s Forecast Seminar on the 22nd of October at Yamazaki Mazak in Worcester. Full details below.
Still on the economic picture here’s a timely reminder to send in your return to the MTA’s Business Survey for September as the more members who participate the more representative the result. Please see this week’s Friday Brief entry for a reminder of submission details. Similarly, we have details of business enquiries that emerged from the recent EMO trade show in Hannover. There may be a relevant lead for your business among them.
The MTA has just been sent the outline of a British trade mission to the Arkhangelsk region of Russia between 6 - 7 November 2013. Interested companies can influence the programme and suggest enterprises that they would like to visit. However, an urgent response is needed as the deadline for registration is Friday 18th October.
Members are also reminded that bookings are now being taken for the MTA’s Annual Dinner which will take place at the ICC Birmingham on 6 February 2014. Headline entertainment will include comedian Alistair McGowan. The last Annual Dinner was oversubscribed, and places are going fast this year, so be sure to apply for your tickets early!
Members considering entering the MTA’s Manufacturing Industry Awards, which will be presented during the Annual Dinner, are alerted to the deadline of 15 November for submitting entries. This is an outstanding opportunity to showcase your company’s achievements and/or the potential of one of your young engineers. Categories include Best Supplier Partnership, Best Training Scheme and Young Engineer of the Year. Applications for the AMTRI scholarship are also welcomed.
A final note for your diaries: the 4th of December will see the MTA AGM at Gaydon Heritage Motor Centre. We’re delighted that this year we will be joined the Professor Sir Mike Gregory, Director of the Institute for Manufacturing at Cambridge University, who will share his thoughts on the challenges manufacturing faces in the 21st Century.
Have a good weekend.