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Friday Brief Archive

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Friday Brief Intro 26/02/2021

Good morning and welcome to this week’s Friday Brief

We kick off this week with news that the Prime Minster has announced the UK roadmap out of Lockdown. Our partners at Croner have put together helpful guidance on how this will affect your business. We also have more information from BEIS which advises to continue working from home if you can as well as new workplace testing measures. The test kits are entirely free of charge until 30 June 2021 for firms that have registered by 31 March at https://www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests.

Sticking with the UK Government, we have news on Lord Frost joining the Cabinet alongside Michael Gove as Minster of State as well as Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng’s comments on the UK's poor R&D record.

As more of us have moved online over the past year, we have information from the Nations Cyber Security Centre on building a cyber security plan of action for your business and knowing which measures to take to improve your cyber security.

Firms can now compare business bank accounts using a new online resource which is impartial and advertisement-free. The Business Bank Account Finder aims to help firms to find the products that match their business needs. It has been developed by the sector’s trade association, UK Finance, and the credit broker, Finpoint, and MTA Members can now use the service free of charge.

As a Member of the MTA, you automatically get to enjoy the benefits of affiliate membership of Make UK. They are inviting MTA Members to join them on Wednesday 17th March for their event on Successfully Accessing Grant Funding.  Details below.

Also this week we have been approached by an Indian Company looking for a UK partnership. Details of their products and further information can be found in the story.

As a theme partner at last month’s Emerging Tech Fest 2021, MADE Cymru hosted a round table discussion with a number of industry experts to talk about how manufacturers in Wales have had to adapt to the challenges of the pandemic, and how some have indeed thrived.

We have a smorgasbord of economic news this week;  for the UK, the latest results of the CBI Industrial Trends Survey reflect the slowing of activity in the current lockdown although given that this is rather different from the first time round early in 2020, the impact on manufacturing is also smaller.  It is also significant that it is only a couple of industries within manufacturing that are generating the negative trend with a majority of the sub-sectors actually positive.

We also take a look at the latest data on productivity in the UK where we see a sharp contrast between manufacturing where output per hour worked is increasing and services where it is down slightly.  Finally for the UK, we look at the trade data for 2020, including the data for shipments and arrivals of machine tools.  The last item in the economic news this week is the European Commission’s Economic Sentiment Index which has shown an improvement at the start of the year, led by industry (manufacturing).

That’s all this week. We hope you all have a good weekend and we'll be back next Friday.

Free Covid-19 tests for workplace testing of staff that cannot work from home

Free Covid-19 tests for workplace testing of staff that cannot work from home

The Secretary of State has written to UK businesses to inform them of new workplace testing measures to find people who have the virus but show no symptoms, so they can

isolate quickly and not spread the virus to their colleagues and their families.

The government is providing employers with 50 or more employees with lateral flow testing kits to test their staff that cannot currently work from home, or who will return to the workplace as the economy opens up as set out in the Roadmap announced on Monday.

Successfully Accessing Grant Funding Webinar – 17th March

Successfully Accessing Grant Funding Webinar – 17th March

As a Member of the MTA, you automatically get to enjoy the benefits of affiliate membership of Make UK. They are inviting MTA Members to join them on Wednesday 17th March at 08:30 - 09:30 for an event: Successfully Accessing Grant Funding.  

Businesses across the country want to take advantage of future opportunities for the sector such as the Net Zero and Levelling Up agendas. But how do you successfully access public funding? Why should you apply for grant funding? 

ECONOMIC NEWS

ECONOMIC NEWS

CBI Industrial Trends Survey, February 2021:  The latest report from the CBI Industrial Trends Survey (ITS) shows that manufacturing activity has deteriorated over the last month although the hit was less than in previous lockdowns.  It is worth noting that although the report refers to February, data collection took place between 27th January and 12th February so the trends identified are more likely to be the three months to January (November 2020 to January 2021).

Carry on working at home if you can

Carry on working at home if you can

The business department, BEIS has stressed the guidance on gov.uk is that the guidance that people should work at home where they can is set to remain in place until June at the earliest.  This guidance has not changed since spring last year (despite comments from some senior politicians last autumn, urging office workers to go back return to their offices).

BEIS asks firms to note that the latest guidance says:

MADE Cymru leads discussion about the bright future of manufacturing in Wales

MADE Cymru leads discussion about the bright future of manufacturing in Wales

As a theme partner at last month’s Emerging Tech Fest 2021, MADE Cymru hosted a round table discussion with a number of industry experts to talk about how manufacturers in Wales have had to adapt to the challenges of the pandemic, and how some have indeed thrived.

Building a cyber security plan of action for your business

Building a cyber security plan of action for your business

Over the past year, businesses in the UK have adjusted to new ways of working and are using the internet more than ever before. According to a report from the Centre for Economic Performance, more than 60% of businesses are using new technologies since the beginning of the pandemic. This is happening in almost all industries – including Manufacturing.

Opportunity for MTA Members to partner with Indian Company

Opportunity for MTA Members to partner with Indian Company

The MTA have been approached by ETA Technology who are exploring opportunities with companies where possibilities for mutual collaboration exist. 

ETA Technology designs and manufactures high-end special purpose machines for automobile, aerospace, shipbuilding, defence and rail industries. As part of their global expansion strategy, they are on the lookout for establishing Sales & Service Partners in some of the most important markets across the world.  

Below is a short summary of their range of machines and capabilites. 

Products   

UK business’ poor R&D record

UK business’ poor R&D record

British business invests less in research and development than similar nations, says business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.  And “investment is concentrated in major players in just a few sectors”, he says.

These are, perhaps, the most striking comments in a policy paper seeking to develop a UK R&D roadmap. 

Roadmap out of Lockdown

Roadmap out of Lockdown

No doubt you’re aware of the roadmap out of lockdown announced Monday by the Prime Minister.

The steps announced were promising. You may have a clearer indication on when you can re-open—but not necessarily how.

As restrictions ease, guidance will change. Whether it’s making your workplace COVID-secure, getting financial support via furlough, or returning staff to the office from homeworking, you’ll face challenges.