Welcome to Friday Brief on the 5th December, with only 19 days left until Christmas!
This week saw our Annual General Meeting, at which Mark Ridgway OBE was re-elected as President of the MTA. The day also included a Parliamentary Reception in the House of Commons, where Minister of State for Skills and Equalities Nick Boles MP was able to update members on plans for apprenticeship funding, and reassure us that there will not be any additional burden placed on employers taking on apprentices – please see more on the AGM and the reception below.
Also this week the Government published its August Statement, which included announcements on extra funding for Catapult centres and the uprating of the R&D Tax credit for both large and small firms.
At the MTA we are always striving to run the Association so that it benefits everyone of our members, and we ask you to kindly take a few minutes and fill in our latest Member's Survey. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes and you will be entered into draw to win an IPAD. We would really like to hear from you, and get your help in shaping the future of the MTA, so please take a moment to share your thoughts.
In other news, Wakefield based Group Rhodes have been awarded a Blue Plaque from The Wakefield Civic Society to signify the 190th anniversary since the firm’s founding in 1824. And The Institute for Manufacturing has announced the dates for the 2015 Technology and Innovation Management three-day course. This event is organised by the IfM’s Centre for Technology Management, University of Cambridge and will take place at Jesus College, Cambridge, on 24 – 26 March 2015.
This week’s ‘Spotlight on…’ looks at out training and apprenticeship loans and grants and we’ve a little reminder that the November edition of the MTA Business Survey is ready for your input.
In Economic News we have latest PMI numbers. There is something of a mixed picture with the UK seeing a further pick-up in the PMI, something that was repeated in countries such as India, Czech Republic and Poland; the figures for Canada (unchanged) and the USA (down on October) well above the 50 level which marks the boundary between growth and contraction. The euro-zone continues to be weak, although the index of 50.1 was just in positive territory – this in itself is a balance between strong numbers for Ireland, Spain and Netherlands, with Germany, Italy and France all below 50; among the major global economies, the only other countries in negative territory were Korea and Brazil.
Enjoy your weekend, and remember to wrap up warm as it is getting pretty cold out there.