Good morning and welcome to this week’s Friday Brief.
This is the time of year that many companies will be making decisions about recruiting apprentices to start in the autumn. That the industry faces a significant skills shortage is no secret and investing in young people makes sense for the future. The MTA can help your company do that. Grants of £2000 are available for most companies to set against the costs of taking an apprentice on. We can also make interest free loans of up to £10,000 to help spread the financial burden that new apprentices represent. Please contact Laura Pickering, Learning & Development Co-ordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help you this year.
Staying with learning and development the University of Buckingham are running a 4 day course on Lean Principles with Professor John Bicheno – who comes highly recommended. To find out more about this course please see the story below.
Seats are full for CECIMO’s next “Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing European Conference”
at the European Parliament in Brussels, but don’t fear you can still attend the conference from the comfort of your own desk. You will be able to watch the live stream of the conference online on 25th May, find out how you can do this in the story below.
The April edition of the MTA Business Survey will be closing on Monday, but there is still time to respond via the on-line form at http://www.mta.org.uk/mta-business-survey-apr16.
Innovate UK has up to £15 million to invest in projects that support innovation in manufacturing and materials and lead to improvements in productivity, competitiveness and growth. This is the first of a new style of competition for Innovate UK aimed at a wider spread of companies than previous schemes and with a requirement to include SMEs in bids. Businesses can apply for funding to support a range of innovation projects that tackle commercial challenges in manufacturing and materials.
The Design and Prototyping Group (DPG) at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) has designed and built a prototype unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) designed to withstand the blast impact from a buried explosive charge. For more information on this project see the below story.
Some of the key industry data released this week was not brilliant, but it is not as gloomy as the overall headlines that accompanied the announcement of the UK industrial production numbers this week; this has returned to recession - two consecutive negative quarters - mainly as a result of a sharp fall in iron and steel output (ironically, from the closure of the Redcar plant rather than Port Talbot which is still in the headlines as Tata look for a buyer). The monthly data from Eurostat was also quite gloomy overall, although this is more volatile than the quarterly figures we track for the UK, but capital goods came out on the better (or less bad) end of the spectrum in these figures. US machine tool demand continues to weaken, as does the cutting tool market across the pond, but figures from our forecast update last week suggest that this is largely an energy industry related problem.
That’s all for this week, we’ll be back next Friday with more industry news. Until then have a great weekend from everyone at the MTA.