Good afternoon and welcome to this week’s Friday brief.
This week we have been sent details of a new manufacturing T Levels. T Levels focus on vocational skills and can help young learners progress into skilled employment, higher education or apprenticeships. Make sure to look at all the details in our story below.
On the theme of education within the manufacturing sector, Make UK's new Apprenticeship Strategy proposes a series of targeted recommendations to support manufacturers retain and recruit apprentices in the next 18 months. You can find the report attached to the story.
We also have a letter to the Secretary of State for Education regarding the skills crisis facing all sectors of UK Manufacturing because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The National Manufacturing Skills Task Force has now been formed with the original 16 signatories of the letter committed to its aims and objectives and collectively making a positive impact to the skills challenges facing all of the sectors of Manufacturing. To see the objectives, view the story below.
Moving onto training and data analysis. Purple Beard Training has partnered with MTA and is offering Digital Skills Training to MTA members who wish to upskill themselves in Data Analysis or Digital Transformation. MTA Members can take advantage of this heavily subsidised training with support from the government and our training grants. Check out what they have going on in our story this week.
On Wednesday Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng welcomed this week’s Queen’s Speech, which reinforced the UK’s commitments to becoming a global science superpower, taking advantage of the UK’s departure from the European Union, and strengthening our energy security as we transition to a net zero future. See the full story below.
Below you will find an update on The European Parliament ratifying the Trade and Co-operation Agreement between the UK and the EU and that the TCA was entered into force on 1st May. The various committees and the partnership council provided for in the TCA will now work to address issues arising from its operation. Make sure to look at all the information we have on ‘Global Britain’. This is the term the government uses to symbolise the country’s newly-independent trading aspirations. It is “reinvesting in our relationships, championing the rules-based international order and demonstrating that the UK is open, outward-looking and confident on the world stage”
In other news we have a little insight into a discussion with HMRC around Brexit and key issues. Check out the story below to see what we have added to pages on our website.
The MTA has followed and supported The Digital Manufacturing on a Shoestring programme. It is focused on the development of simple, low cost digital devices and systems that improve the effectiveness of operations of small manufacturing companies. For more info and to watch a recent webinar, go to the story.
This week saw the release of manufacturing output and monthly GDP data which now comes on the same day along with the figures for services and construction - as this was for March, we have the data for the 1st quarter of the year. Inevitably given the lockdown restrictions that were in place through January and February, the UK economy contracted (by -1.5%) but with the 4th quarter of 2020 having seen growth and momentum already picking up in the positive data for March (GDP grew by +2.1% on February), we are likely to avoid a double-dip recession. Manufacturing had a similar, if less pronounced path with output falling by -0.7% in Q1-21 but with growth in March (also +2.1%), the sector is at just under 98% of the pre-pandemic monthly level of activity (February 2020).
This week also saw the European data on industrial production published and growth in March was generally more modest than in the UK; in particular, output of the capital goods industries fell month-on-month with the Euro-zone noticeably weaker than the trend for the whole of the EU. We also take a look at the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy report and the input from their Agents - this was released at the end of last week (after we had gone to press with the Friday Brief) following the MPC meeting at which the Bank Rate was left unchanged at +0.1%.
Finally a reminder that the MTA Business Survey for April is still open for your input at www.mta.org.uk/mta-business-survey-apr21.
That is all we have for this week’s Friday Brief, Have a great weekend and we’ll see you again next week.