Good morning and welcome to the first Friday Brief of the New Year. We hope you had a restful holiday season and are ready for a successful 2017.
We start the new year with a blog post from MTA CEO James Selka about the export support British companies receive from Government to aid them in exhibiting at international trade shows. At the MTA we work hard to create these sorts of opportunities for our members and we feel government should be doing more to support companies on the ground at these events. It is a matter of competitiveness.
The Manufacturing Institute has launched a Lean Champion Award for Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) members to enable up to three delegates to take part in an intensive 10 week (one day per week) ‘Accelerated Route to Lean Manufacturing’ programme with 100% sponsorship for course fees, saving £2,950 per delegate. The MTA is working in collaboration with The Manufacturing Institute and fully supports this unique opportunity to take part in a programme with full sponsorship of course fees. More details on this fantastic opportunity can be found within the Brief.
The MTA is working closely with the Baker Dearing Trust to encourage employer interaction with University Technical Colleges (UTCs). MTA member companies including 600 Group, Fanuc and Unison are already engaged with UTCs, and we would like to increase employer engagement further. Details on how to get involved can be found in the below story, but for more information please contact the MTA’s Education & Development coordinator Laura Pickering via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Department for International Trade are continuing the Exporting is GREAT campaign in 2017, the Export Hub is on its way to Silverstone Park with an Express Export Programme. Advisers, will be on hand with practical guidance, advice and bite size top tips for businesses of all sizes who wish to expand into new international markets. Find out how to attend within the Brief.
Researchers from the Medical Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre are working with a former soldier who caught a devastating disease in Afghanistan to develop an advanced mobility aid that could change the lives of millions of disabled people. Read all about these developments in the story below.
The MTA Business Survey is now online and ready for you to fill in, this survey helps us to identify these trends in our sector, so we would encourage all members to participate in the survey - www.mta.org.uk/mta-business-survey-dec16.
The top economic headline this week was the very positive data from the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for December with both the UK and the Euro-zone having strong finishes to 2016. For the UK, some price pressures (related to the exchange rate) remain, but, for the moment this is being outweighed by the improvement in business. Immediately before the Christmas holidays, the ONS revised up the quarterly growth rate for the UK economy in the 3rd quarter to +0.6%, but with revisions to previous periods, the annualised rate was revised down to +2.2%. They also released data on investment for the 3rd quarter which showed quite a significant slowdown in capital expenditure for the manufacturing sector and, especially for the Engineering and Vehicles industry; it is too early to tell if this is a one-off blip of a signal of something more serious and, perhaps, Brexit related. The latest CECIMO Toolbox includes the usual round-up of data and we summarise the latest forecast for machine tool orders in Europe.
That’s all for this week, we’ll be back next Friday with more industry news, until then have a great weekend.