Good morning and welcome to this week’s Friday brief.
Tuesday this week saw a national day of reflection, marking one year since lockdown began. We have all experienced the massive change in the way business and the industry operates and we want to take this opportunity to remind all Members that the MTA is always here to help. We have a number of connections and if we can’t help directly, we can always point Members in the right direction. Members also have access to our free business support line provided by Croner on any employment law questions they may have, details below.
On a similar theme, MTA Associate Member, Citation, is running a free webinar specifically for manufacturing businesses, to address some of the key issues facing the sector – from COVID-related considerations to broader challenges surrounding HR, Employment Law and Health & Safety.
A reminder that the free workplace testing offer was been expanded to all firms in England and the deadline for registering interest is the end of this month. The government says that regular testing is a vital part of its plan to ease restrictions. However, the scheme is free only until the end of June. Firms will have to pay from that date if they continue with workplace testing. You can register via: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/free-rapid-tests-for-all-businesses-for-regular-workplace-testing.
We’ve recently been able to help an MTA member in obtaining visas for engineers coming from overseas following the change in rules post-Brexit. If you’re experiencing difficulties in this area, we encourage you to get in touch to see how we can help.
Whilst we’re on an international theme, we have details of the 4 major trade and investment hubs to support growth across the UK which the Department for International Trade will be establishing. Check out the announcement from International Trade Secretary below for further details.
CECIMO, the European Association of the Machine Tool Industries and related Manufacturing Technologies, of which the MTA is a Member, kindly invites you to join their webinar on “Repairing with Additive Manufacturing: An opportunity to boost industrial sustainability”, which will take place on Wednesday 14th April. Details on how to register are in the story below.
The Made Smarter Innovation Network are hosting a series of 12 webinars across April, May and June, showcasing the journeys of manufacturers who have been innovative in their adoption of digital technologies to improve performance, alongside digital technology providers creating innovative solutions to aid the manufacturers journey. Find out about which ones are relevant to your business and register for free via the link in the story below.
Our lead economic story this week is the latest results from the CBI Industrial Trends Survey which, while it shows an improved performance for the manufacturing, cannot really be said to be that positive either. Having said that there are some encouraging signs that activity could pick up over the next few months. The flash estimates from the manufacturing PMI data do, however, paint a positive picture with the index at historically high levels in the UK, Euro-zone (led by Germany but spread across the region) and the USA.
The latest data from the USA on orders for manufacturing technology show that although lower than in December 2020 (which was an exceptional month), this year has started above the pre-pandemic levels of January 2020. The cutting tool market is, however, still on a downward swing as it tends to lag behind the investment driven data for machinery. Finally in this section we take a look at the UK trade data by industry and highlight the 2020 trends for the key customers of MTA members.
Finally this week, there are details of a new HSE virus scam which we have been made aware is circulating. The virus is in an email purporting to be from the HSE to arrange an appointment for an inspector to make a site visit. When the attachment is opened, it can bring down the company’s IT system, including its manufacturing machines, and the system has had to be rebuilt. Make sure you make your teams aware if they regularly receive information from the HSE.
Keep an eye out in today's Guardian for a Supply Chain Innovation supplement- the digital campaign features a story from our CEO James Selka at https://bit.ly/3vH2M1o.
That is all this week, we’ll have more industry news next week ahead of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. Until then, have a good weekend.