Weekly News Bulletin – 19th January 2018

This week we shared the news that the majority of UK manufacturers are confident about growth in 2018. Following on from last week’s reports about confidence in the construction industry, it is not surprising that 59% of British manufacturers are expecting business activity to increase over the next 12 months. Whilst 71% of those asked felt that the main challenge in 2018 would be the introduction of trade tariffs when the UK leaves the EU, 47% expect Britain to become more competitive internationally in the next five years. Are you confident about the coming year?

We also saw an interesting thought piece from Personnel Today around the role of apprenticeships and how they have evolved. One of the key points is that an apprenticeship may no longer be the traditional role of someone entering the world of work, but instead, existing managers could enrol onto an apprenticeship to further their skills and understanding. Do you think this is a positive step towards ensuring all have the opportunity to upskill, or do you think it will affect those trying to secure an apprenticeship?

In a similar vein, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce reported that nearly a fifth of small businesses feel that a skill shortage is the biggest barrier to their business through productivity. Out of the 300 small businesses questioned, 37% felt that resilience, adaptability and interpersonal skills are most lacking in new recruits. What are your experiences? Are you seeing a skills shortage in new recruits?

Production Engineering Solutions reported on a pioneering campaign to boost entries into the engineering industry with 2018 officially known as the ‘Year of Engineering’. With support from the government, businesses and industry experts, expect to see a national drive across the country to change perceptions of the industry and reduce the shortfall of 20,000 engineering graduates every year. We’ll keep you updated as we know more.

We also shared an insightful thought piece from our very own sales director of Framing, about BIM and how important timing is to ensure successful deployment. We recommend reading this piece if you would like to know a little more about BIM, and time and cost savings you can make through using it correctly.

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British manufacturers predict further growth

The majority of UK manufacturers are confident about their growth prospects in 2018, according to the latest Business in Britain report from Lloyds Bank.


Should we use apprenticeships to train managers?

The apprenticeship levy has attracted a lot of criticism of late, with many questioning why the scope is now so broad it’s possible to gain an MBA. Roisin Woolnough looks at the competing arguments for more management-focused apprenticeships.


SMEs still see skills shortage as biggest barrier – survey

Nearly a fifth of small businesses see skill shortages as the biggest barrier to productivity in their workforce, according to a new survey.


Engineering in the spotlight for 2018

A pioneering campaign to transform the way young people see engineering and boost numbers entering the profession has been launched today.


BIM: Timing is Everything

Sales Director of Metsec Framing, explores how time is a crucial element in the successful deployment of BIM.