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Friday Brief Archive

2021

Week 24

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2019

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2018

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FRIDAY BRIEF

Welcome to our final Friday Brief of 2020 - what a year that was and for all the wrong reasons!

Inevitably, we have a raft of Brexit stories covering a range of issues including an update of our UKCA/CE mark guide to reflect publication of the list of designated standards, reminders from the DIT and details of trade agreements that the UK has signed, information about trading with Northern Ireland and advice on using personal data from people and companies in the EU - some of this may still change if a trade agreement is reached with the EU and we will attempt to update this as soon as we have concrete information.

There was news on Thursday that the CJRS (furlough scheme) will now run to the end of April and that the deadlines for the Coronavirus loan schemes have been extended to the end of March.  It might also be useful to repeat the links to all the information we have published on Brexit (at https://www.mta.org.uk/members-area/resources/brexit) and on the Coronavirus situation (at https://www.mta.org.uk/members-area/resources/coronavirus.

The economic news this week is led by the flash PMI data releases which are out a little earlier than usual this month with the Christmas holidays.  The manufacturing index for the UK, Euro-zone and Japan improved compared to October, although the latter remains just below the crucial 50 level, while there was a marginal reduction for the USA, but this remains strongly positive.  The European industrial production data for October showed a further improvement while remaining below the levels of a year earlier, with the capital goods industry leading the recovery, although this is partly because it fell the furthest in the initial crisis.  We also take a look at the latest report from the Bank of England’s Agents and data on exports/imports in the 3rd quarter by industry.

We have an appeal from the Digital Catapult for partners in the Smart Factory project and details of the Internationalisation fund from the Department for International Trade (DIT) which is aimed at helping SMEs to boost their export performance.

Our colleague at EAMA, in partnership with Enginuity and the Gatsby Foundation have published a report on the skills situation in the UK engineering industry;  this has been delayed somewhat by the Coronavirus crisis but, nonetheless, still has some valuable pointers to issues that will affect the medium and long-term recovery.

While we have always had problems from time to time with people offering to supply lists of contacts from MACH, there has been a spate of these recently (we received over 60 on one day this week!), including some that offer MTA lists and one that even used our logos on the e-mail.  These are all bogus as we don’t sell our lists to anyone else.

Finally, a message from James Selka, CEO of MTA.  “Can I use this opportunity to thank all our members for their incredible support during this most challenging of years and we look forward to continuing to serve you in the New Year.  In the meantime, on behalf of all of the team at the MTA (Byron, Cristina, Geoff, James, James, Josh, Katie, Lauren, Lorraine, Nicola and Sami) we wish you a very happy Christmas and a successful New Year”.

CJRS AND BOUNCE-BACK LOANS UPDATE

CJRS AND BOUNCE-BACK LOANS UPDATE

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in revealing that the next Budget Statement will be on 3rd March 2021, has committed to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – often referred to as the furlough scheme – to the end of April 2021;  it had been due to close at the end of March.

BREXIT REMINDERS FROM DIT

BREXIT REMINDERS FROM DIT

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has issued a reminder of various links relating to the UK’s transition period to the culmination of the Brexit process.  The UK Government’s main link for information on the EU Transition period is at https://www.gov.uk/transition.

Following on from that, you can find the DIT’s Transition Enquiry Line at https://www.great.gov.uk/transition-period/contact/ if further information is needed

MTA GUIDE TO UKCA/CE MARKING - 4th EDITION

MTA GUIDE TO UKCA/CE MARKING - 4th EDITION

Following the notice of the links to relevant standards for use with the UKCA last week – see https://www.mta.org.uk/resources/brexit-ukca-and-ce-marking-update-webinar - we have updated our guide to using the UKCA and CE Marks when the transition period ends.  The only change from the 3rd edition is an update to question 5.2 – hopefully this saves you from re-reading the whole document, although that might be a good idea before heading off for Christmas.

BREXIT UPDATE – USE OF PERSONAL DATA

BREXIT UPDATE – USE OF PERSONAL DATA

Personal data is any information that can be used to identify a person, including names, delivery details, IP addresses, or HR data such as payroll details.  Most organisations use personal data in their daily operations.  An example of this is a UK company that receives customer information from an EU company, such as names and addresses, to provide goods or services.

BREXIT UPDATE – NORTHERN IRELAND

BREXIT UPDATE – NORTHERN IRELAND

At the end of last week, the UK government published a command paper, setting out the details of an agreement in principle, on the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol between Great Britain and the EU.  The paper outlines the way in which the agreement meets the three commitments to the people of Northern Ireland, as the protocol takes effect – this includes:

MTA/MACH LISTS AND SCAMS

MTA/MACH LISTS AND SCAMS

We are aware of a number of emails being sent to our members purporting to have MACH and/or MTA lists for sale.  Please be aware we do not share data with anyone and these companies are not related to the MTA in anyway.  We have reported these to Fraud Aware.

Similarly, we will not send letters to anyone asking them to update their catalogue entries.  This scam, which commits companies to paying for entries in bogus lists, has been running for a number of years for different shows but has recently been recirculated.

SMART FACTORY TENDER - PARTNERSHIP

SMART FACTORY TENDER - PARTNERSHIP

Digital Catapult are currently preparing a response to a tender to create a technology roadmap for a Smart Factory testbed, which will be followed later by the commissioning of the smart factory.  They are looking to partner with a company that has experience in the design and specification of ISA95 compliant hardware and software architectures with seamless integration across all layers within manufacturing environments.  Ideally, the partner would have experience in the following areas:

2020 SKILLS VISION REPORT

2020 SKILLS VISION REPORT

EAMA (THE Engineering and Machinery Alliance of which MTA is a member), Enginuity (formerly SEMTA) and the Gatsby Foundation commissioned a report on how firms in the machinery and component supply chain were approaching funded apprenticeships and alternatives.  The research, carried out by Pye Tait Consulting, was conducted up to early March 2020 and the researchers’ findings are in the main report and summarised, with recommendations, in the executive summary.  You can access these reports at http://www.eama.info/skills-report/.

ECONOMIC NEWS

ECONOMIC NEWS

Flash PMI for Manufacturing, December 2020:  The flash PMI reports are based on data received up to 14th December, giving an early indication of the results ahead of the final data being released at the start of 2021.  The composite PMI for the whole UK economy showed a return to positive territory after the dip in November;  this reflects an improvement in activity in the manufacturing sector coupled with a less negative reading for the service sector.