Weekly News Bulletin – 9th March 2018

This week we shared an article from Recruiting Times that asked whether the new apprenticeship levy is merely a pipe dream that will have a negative impact on the UK economy. With opinions that the levy is simply another tax and too complicated to use, the ambition for three million apprenticeships by 2020 can appear far off. What are your opinions? Do you agree with Recruiting Times that the scheme must be simplified in order to be successful?

In similar news, the Apprenticeships Directory has warned that the lack of knowledge surrounding engineering apprenticeships is creating a skills gap. Based on the Engineering UK’s annual report, there is thought to be annual shortfall of up to 56,000 engineers due to low levels of awareness, although Print Week Live argues that the Department of Education is not doing enough to fill the knowledge gap for both employers and potential apprentices. There seems to be most confusion around who the levy applies to and what the levy means. Does the apprenticeship levy discourage you from appointing apprentices for your business?

The Express & Star has reported that the findings of the EFF/BDO Survey has shown that West Midlands factories have a positive outlook for 2018, despite Brexit concerns. Based on increased opportunities from European markets, the sector is looking to continue the healthy growth seen in 2017. The Express & Star also revealed that the West Midlands is outperforming regional counterparts in the manufacturing sector but with 28.5% of the businesses in the area at a higher than normal risk of insolvency, there is still cause for concern. Business Day released news that British businesses have grown at the fastest rate in more than years in the first quarter of this year due to the weak pound and healthy global growth.

We also shared news that Lench Trust and ES Lancaster Birmingham announced they have received approval for plans to build a 1,000-bed student accommodation to help meet the growing student population in Birmingham. We’ll keep you updated as we know more.

Finally, Public Sector Executive (PSE) has published a thought piece which considers what is next for BIM. After the government’s BIM mandate came into effect in 2016, BIM Level 2 has slowly become more common place to be used when carrying out design work so here at Metsec, we are excited to see how BIM will progress. We’d recommend reading this piece if you are interested in what the future holds for BIM.

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Is the goal of creating 3 million apprenticeships by 2020 just a pipe dream?

Is the apprenticeship levy just a mess which is ruining our economy?


Apprenticeship ignorance driving engineering skills gap warns report

A widespread lack of awareness over engineering apprenticeships is hampering UK industry’s ability to attract and foster the next generation of engineering talent, according to Engineering UK’s annual report: Engineering UK 2018: State of Engineering


Are we doing enough for the future of the industry?

National Apprenticeship Week begins as this issue hits readers’ desks, but its focus probably says more about our aspirations than the situation on the ground.


West Midlands manufacturers ‘upbeat’ says EEF/BDO survey

West Midlands manufacturers have started the year with their foot hard on the pedal, according to a new survey.


West Midlands manufacturing sector among top UK performers, but still ’cause for concern’

West Midlands manufacturing businesses are outperforming their regional counterparts as new research reveals that they are amongst the most financially stable in the UK.


British business grows at fastest rate for two years

British businesses grew at the fastest rate in more than two years in the three months to February, despite uncertainty about Britain’s prospects as it prepares to leave the EU, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said on Sunday.


Go ahead for massive student accommodation scheme at Birmingham gateway

Plans for a 1,000-bed student accommodation scheme in Birmingham have received the go ahead.


What’s next for BIM?

After some mostly positive findings in last year’s National Building Information Modelling (BIM) Report, PSE’s Luana Salles considers what the future holds for the industry.