Good morning and welcome to this week’s Friday Brief.
It has been another busy week here at the MTA and we’re pleased to report we had a fantastic event yesterday at the Nissan plant in Sunderland. The MTA teamed up with the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) to deliver a one-day masterclass focusing on the supply chain and automation within the UK automotive sector. With lively discussions on the benefits of automation, around 100 technology providers and users attended the event. More details on topics discussed can be found below.
The MTA have been awarded the Mark of Excellence at the Association Excellence Awards for their work on MACH 2016. The awards took place in London on Friday 31st March 2017 and celebrated excellence in professional and trade associations. MACH 2016 was entered into the Association Excellence Awards in the category of Best Large Association Event attended by over 1,500 people and just missed the top prize.
The EEF hosted a webinar for MTA members, aimed at ensuring employer readiness for the Apprenticeship Levy that came into effect on 6 April 2017. If you missed the webinar it is now available to view online here.
If your organisation has more than 250 staff, from 6 April you will be required to publish information and an explanation on the extent of your gender pay gap. Thinking about what you will do to decrease the gender pay gap will support your organisation’s productivity levels, where everyone’s skills and talents can be maximised. More details can be found within the Brief.
Eighteen-year-old Leigh Worsdale became the first female apprentice to win the Apprentice of the Year’ award supported by Boeing at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) Training Centre’s ‘Apprentice of the Year’ awards held at the University of Sheffield (30 March).
MTA CEO James Selka presented Cosmin Dragan, an apprentice plastic fabricator from Rotherham Industrial Plastics (Ripco) with a Special Recognition award, sponsored by the MTA, for his incredible work ethic. (https://twitter.com/MTA_Education/status/847571603823218688)
Laura Pickering, who sat on the judging panel for the awards said “The standard amongst all apprentices shortlisted to present to the judges was incredibly high, and we would like to congratulate everyone who won awards on the evening. All the apprentices are an inspiration to the future generation of engineers that our country needs, and it’s fantastic that Leigh Worsdale won the main Apprentice of the Year award, a first for a female at the AMRC. We hope that this will encourage more young women to consider apprenticeships within the manufacturing technologies industry”.
A reminder to members that we have two surveys running at the moment – as well as the March 2017 Business Survey (see item below), we are still collecting data for the Service Engineers Charges survey; if you are interested in the latter and have not seen the questionnaire, please contact Geoff Noon (email@example.com) for a copy.
The data form the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) surveys from around the world were generally positive this month and even where the PMI fell, it was usually above the crucial 50 level; the UK is quite a good example of this in that although it was a t a4-month low figure, the reading of 54.2 is well above the long-run average and can only be described as strong. Data from the ONS on the UK economy confirmed the reasonable end to 2016, although the year ended up at +1.8%, slower than the +2.2% recorded in 2015 and the slowest growth since 2012. There was less good news in the investment data that was released at the same time which although total business investment only fell by -1.5% in 2016, within that total, manufacturing investment was down by -6.6% and spending by the Engineering and Vehicles sub-sector fell by -10.3%, with both of these having an especially weak 4th quarter – it remains to be seen if these were a one-off or if they start a post-Brexit decline.
That’s all for this week, we’ll be back next Friday, until then have a great weekend.