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Friday Brief

Good morning from the MTA Team.  We have various updates this week around the announcements on the English lockdown and the financial support that the Government has put in place as a result.

We cover the extension of the Job Retention Scheme - this article also includes a note about the various loan schemes which have also been extended - and the lockdown regulations themselves as they affect companies in the manufacturing industry and its supply chain.  Following on from this, our partners at Croner are holding the next in their series of webinars on HR and employment law in a couple of weeks and we have details of the contents and how to register in an article below.

Brexit news this week focuses on an update on the new immigration rules.  We have also been working on our guidance for the UKCA/CE mark and there will be an update on this with some more FAQ’s (and their answers) next Friday.  Also around Brexit, we highlight a session in the forthcoming BSI conference that will focus on the new regulatory framework, including marking requirements.

The MTA Business Survey for October has been running all week but there is still time for you to let us have your input via the web-site at www.mta.org.uk/mta-business-survey-sep20.

There is news of a couple of exhibitions this week.  The largest event in China, CIMT, is taking place next April and we have some space left in the UK pavilion - see below for details.  The other event, due to be held next week in Taiwan is going on-line and access details for this are highlighted in a separate article.

The main economic news this week was the PMI data for manufacturing which showed a generally positive trend both overall and compared to September, but with some exceptions.  The UK was one of a handful of countries where the PMI fell in October but our reading was still indicating growth in activity, just at a slower pace;  there were a few countries (and the ASEAN region) where the PMI remains below 50 which suggests that the manufacturing sector is still contracting.

In other economic news, we have a note about the interest rate and other decisions from the MPC this week, a look at UK productivity in the 2nd quarter and the latest data set for the Contract Price Adjustment Service which we provide for members.

Finally, following on from the piece about the Lloyds Bank International Trade Portal last week (see https://www.mta.org.uk/resources/lloyds-bank-international-trade-portal-0 if you missed our piece about this valuable resource) we have news of the EU’s Access2Markets Portal which has a range of information about exporting from and importing to the EU, including a page about Brexit.

With that, we will wish you a good weekend and, until we return next Friday with more news for and about the manufacturing technology industry, stay safe and keep well.

AMRC EVENTS UPDATE

AMRC EVENTS UPDATE

Our colleagues at the AMRC will be holding a webinar entitled “Making things better for SME’s”.  In this webinar, to be held on Wednesday 18th November 2020 from 1pm to 2pm, you will find out how AMRC is helping SMEs to innovate and grow.

ECONOMIC NEWS

ECONOMIC NEWS

UK GDP, 3rd Quarter 2020:  The headline GDP data from the ONS shows the largest ever quarterly growth rate at +15.5% in the 3rd quarter but this follows the largest ever reduction of -19.8% in the 2nd quarter.  From this it is clear that despite the record growth rate, the UK economy has not recovered the losses it saw in the previous quarter and that is before we take into account the decline of -2.5% registered in Q1.  These trends leave the UK economy -9.6% smaller than it was a year ago at the end of Q3-2019.

MTA BUSINESS SURVEY

MTA BUSINESS SURVEY

The MTA Business Survey for October will be closing early next week but there is still time to get your data back to us if you have not done so already.  There is on-line form is still available at www.mta.org.uk/mta-business-survey-oct20 or if you would prefer a word version, please contact Geoff Noon at MTA (e-mail:  gnoon@mta.org.uk).  This important survey helps us all to keep an up-to-date overview of activity in the sector so please take a couple of minutes to give us your input.

ANNUAL INVESTMENT ALLOWANCE EXTENDED

ANNUAL INVESTMENT ALLOWANCE EXTENDED

The Government has just announced that the temporary extension of the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) to £1 million has been extended for another year.  This extension – the “normal rate” is £200,000 - had been due to expire on 31st December but businesses, including manufacturing firms, can continue to claim up to £1 million in same-year tax relief through the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) for capital investments in plant and machinery assets until 1 January 2022.

CORONAVIRUS - LATEST UPDATES

CORONAVIRUS - LATEST UPDATES

There are a variety of issues on which updates have been published.  The list is quite long but the following are those areas most likely to affect MTA members (for example, we have taken out those that apply to businesses that have been forced to close during lockdowns):

UK TRADER SUPPORT SERVICE

UK TRADER SUPPORT SERVICE

Through the MTA’s membership of the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT), this is to inform Members about HM Government’s Trader Support Service (TSS), especially for those Members that move goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.  The IOE&IT is part of the Consortium delivering the TSS as a free-to-use service for traders and intermediaries (carriers and customs brokers).

YOUR MENTAL WELLBEING

YOUR MENTAL WELLBEING

Whilst we adapt to being in a second lockdown and the pandemic continues to affect everyone differently, we recognise that everyone has had their life changed in some or many ways.

This year has been particular difficult and many people are struggling to deal with missing loved ones, not having the “normalities” of life and adapting to working from home with less personal interaction.  We also already have many living with mental health problems, who are now faced with even bigger hurdles than normal. 

DISCOUNT ON NPL E-LEARNING COURSES

DISCOUNT ON NPL E-LEARNING COURSES

To help to address the challenges which the academic workforce are facing through remote working and study, MTA Associate Member the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is making its full suite of e-Learning courses available at 50% off until 31st December 2020.

Their portfolio of e-Learning courses includes modules covering General Measurement applications, Dimensional Measurement and a range of Specialist Measurement courses. All of which can help students and early stage researchers to develop industry applicable skills in applied measurement.

STANDARD FOR AM DESIGNERS QUALIFICATIONS

STANDARD FOR AM DESIGNERS QUALIFICATIONS

A New Work Item Proposal has been loaded to the BSI Standards Development Portal for comment.  Any comments received will be submitted to AMT/8 - Additive Manufacturing for consideration when deciding the UK response to ISO.

Proposal: ISO/ASTM PWI 52937 Additive Manufacturing of metals - Qualification principles - Qualification of designers.  For more details of this, please go to http://standardsdevelopment.bsigroup.com/projects/9020-04794.