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.