Welcome to the Friday Brief for week-ending 25 October.
Today’s UK manufacturing growth figures showing 0.9% growth for the second quarter running echo what we are seeing in industrial investment. This news follows the presentation of the MTA’s annual Forecast Seminar this week reviewing trends for the manufacturing technologies sector and looking to the future. As usual the event was well attended and produced some lively conversation over lunch.
The Forecast Seminar indicated that for most sectors covered by MTA members the outlook is encouraging and supports recent statistics from the MTA’s latest Business Survey showing members’ confidence about the future at its highest level since mid-2011. The MTA is grateful to Yamazaki Mazak for hosting the Seminar at its European Headquarters in Worcester. There is a report of the Seminar in this week’s Friday Brief.
The MTA’s 2014 Manufacturing Industry Awards represents an outstanding opportunity to showcase your company’s achievements and/or the potential of one of your young engineers. Businesses are alerted to the deadline of 29 November for submitting entries and a link to the entry details is included in this week’s Friday Brief story. Categories include: Best Supplier Partnership, Best Training Scheme and Young Engineer of the Year. Applications for the AMTRI scholarship are also welcomed.
We have news this week of legislation currently going through Parliament which would cut up to £2000 from National Insurance Contributions for nearly 1.25 million businesses, the majority of which would be SMEs with fewer than 250 employees. The legislation would bring in the Employment Allowance, designed to help businesses afford to take on their first employee or expand their workforce.
We also have news this week of a project supported by the European Commission enabling enterprises in Europe’s machine tools sector to take a strategic approach to corporate responsibility and sustainability. The project is a response to pressure from OEMs for businesses in their supply chains to improve their performances in these areas. The Friday Brief story has a link to an online survey connected to the project and members are urged to respond before the deadline.
Another Friday Brief story has a download to an important report from the Health and Safety Laboratory focusing on unsafe practices relating to interlocks and guards on CNC machines. There are also details of a request from India for help with a flexible manufacturing process solution.
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. See this week’s story for registration details.
Have a good weekend.