Good morning and welcome to this week’s Friday Brief.
As companies really start ramping up their activity as the Coronavirus begins to recede, BSI has just released version 1 of their safe working guidelines for UK companies. The guidelines provide a framework for companies looking to create a safe working environment for their employees during the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidelines provide information on: planning one-way systems and actions to mitigate the risks where this is not possible; Implementing processes to stagger arrival and departure times to reduce crowding at entry and exit points; how to check how effective safety measures and controls are - as well as actions to take to improve or change them if they aren’t effective. The Guidelines are downloadable from the story below.
The UK Government this week published regulations introducing a 14 Day Quarantine Period for those entering the UK. The introduction of quarantine was a feature of discussions at the start of the pandemic but the announcement a couple of weeks ago that it was to be introduced on the 8th of June was something of a surprise; industry and other stakeholders were not consulted and we have expressed serious concerns about the plans. Find out full details in the story below.
The Government has put out clarification around the use of 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing technologies for the manufacture of medical devices and PPE. They are not new guidelines and will come as no surprise to any manufacturer who was involved in medical equipment before the crisis – rather they seem to be aimed at new entrants into the market who might not be fully aware of the need to comply with safety regulations for these products. See the story below for full details of this.
We also have further updates on the Government’s Covid-19 Apprenticeships guidance, published against a backdrop of likely falls in recruitment.
On Thursday 18 June, at 9am, the Department for Education and the Strategic Development Network are hosting a webinar for employers, giving an update on industry placements and T Levels, how they might contribute to workforce development and detailing the support now available for employers looking to offer Industry Placements.
John Patsavellas of Cranfield University, and a long-time friend of the MTA, and Dr Oke Okorie from Exeter University are working together to gather and distil the “lessons learnt” from the experiences of the manufacturing sector during the pandemic. Please see below and take a few minutes to answer the questionnaire and help with the research.
The latest edition of the MTA Business Survey is now open for your input via the web-page at www.mta.org.uk/mta-business-survey-may20 - we would encourage members to take a couple of minutes to participate, fast feedback is so important in times like these.
The May results for the manufacturing sector across the 25 countries and 2 regions that we track mostly showed an improvement on the April figures but remain deep in negative territory. Only 4 countries saw a further decline in their PMI reading in May while China, reflecting its earlier position in the crisis, was the only country to register above the crucial 50 level. However, this has highlighted a new conundrum in the PMI data and especially in the output element; most countries reported a further fall in output which is strange given that April was so bad but in at least some places and there had been an element of re-opening in May that does not seem to have been picked up in the month-on-month change reports that make up the PMI.
Our colleagues at Oxford Economics have just released their latest round of forecasts for the UK economy and its industrial sectors. In general this is a little weaker than we had anticipated when we released our new forecasts for the machine tool and cutting tool markets at the end of April but not yet at the full downside scenario. You can access the slide pack through the story section this week and we add some notes in the article to read alongside the pictures.
We round up the other economic news from May, covering manufacturing output and GDP figures for both the UK and Europe, the results of the CBI Industrial Trends Survey and the European Commission’s Economic Sentiment Index, the latest indicators on the US market for manufacturing technology and cutting tools and the data-pack for the Contract Price Adjustment Service that we subscribe to on behalf of MTA members.
That’s all for this week, we’ll be back next Friday with more industry news and view, until then stay safe and a have a great weekend, from everyone at the MTA.