Intelligence Briefing 27th February 2015

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In this issue: Weekly Focus: Round-up of EEF’s National Manufacturing Conference | EEF publishes manifesto for next Government | Report shows Britain on the cusp of 4th industrial revolution | Industrial strategy and higher education on the agenda with Labour Shadow Ministers | EU ETS and green energy costs raised in meeting with DECC Under Secretary Amber Rudd | EEF to run 'manufacturing hub' at Resource 2015 | In the media | Week in review | The week ahead

Weekly Focus: Round-up of EEF’s National Manufacturing Conference

EEF held its fourth annual conference at the QEII Centre in London on 26th February, drawing together high-profile keynote speakers and manufacturers from across the country and across the political spectrum. The conference was compered by BBC presenter Steph McGovern, herself a former engineer.

EEF’s Chief Executive, Terry Scuoler, opened the event in the morning by setting out how Britain can lead the fourth industrial revolution, calling on the next Government to support a productive and flexible workplace, support science and applied research, commit to improving the UK’s infrastructure, incentivise innovation and entrepreneurship, and provide a secure and competitive source of energy. He also urged delegates to work together to win the economic argument for staying in the EU in the event of a referendum after the election.

The first keynote speaker, The Financial Times’ Chief Economics Commentator Martin Wolf, argued the case for rebalancing the economy and the importance of manufacturing to the UK’s exports. He also explained how Eurozone uncertainty is affecting manufacturing and shared his predictions of future key players in the global economy and supply chain, indicating that India and China would be key export nations for the UK’s manufacturers.

The Prime Minister gave a message to conference by video, in which he set out the Government and the Conservative Party’s on-going support for manufacturing and the sector’s role in creating jobs and reviving the economy. This was followed by a keynote speech by Business, Enterprise and Energy Minister, Rt Hon Matthew Hancock MP, who underlined the importance of growing the number of apprentices and the importance of employers’ role in reforming the skills agenda. He also spoke about better regulation (which EEF Chief Executive Terry Scuoler is the small business champion), innovation and infrastructure support, and successfully achieving reform in Europe. Finally, he announced that from this week all public sector contracts must pay promptly, supporting business, especially supply chains.

Up next was Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Opposition, who talked about the demand for engineers and committed to giving employers control of apprentice funding, which he agreed was vital if employers are to buy the provision they need. He underlined that skills, a competitive tax regime and access to finance are key parts of the Labour Party plan. Mr Miliband promised not to scrap LEPs, sought manufacturers’ views on innovation needs and spoke on the importance of creating a long term infrastructure strategy. He also stressed that the UK’s place lies inside not outside the EU and the ‘Brexit’ is not in the county’s national interest.

The first panel debate, ‘The Best of British Manufacturing’, featured industry best practice exemplars and delegates quizzed them on how they are achieving success and the factors driving this. Chairing the debate was Steph McGovern and speaking on the panel were Tony Walker, Deputy Managing Director, Toyota UK; Nicola Salter, HR Director, Williams; Richard Kirk, CEO, PolyPhotonix; and Richard Hill, Head of Automotive and Manufacturing, Natwest. The speakers covered on a wide range of issues; from innovation support, attracting, retaining and retraining talent, to the variation between large and smaller firms’ ability to engage with schools and universities. This was followed by a round of interactive voting from the audience, including questions on the best way to improve the skills base and productivity, and what government can do to support manufacturers.

Following a networking lunch, the afternoon panel debate, ‘Sustaining the Renaissance – 20 years on’, looked at the opportunities for manufacturing over the next 20 years and what manufacturers need to do to prepare today. Speaking on the panel were Dick Elsy, Chief Executive, High Value Manufacturing Catapult; Brian Holliday, Managing Director, Siemens Digital Factory; Sophie Thomas, Co-Director of Design, RSA; Andy Wright, Director of Strategic Technology, BAE Systems; and Pam Murphy, COO, Infor. New technologies, workforce skills, access to global skills, funding for innovation and collaboration were also cited as future challenges and opportunities. The audience was overwhelmingly optimistic about the future of manufacturing but acknowledged that there is much left to be done to secure the UK’s place as a global manufacturing leader in the future.

Closing the conference, Terry Scuoler reiterated the key findings from the conference, including the importance of balanced growth, EU membership, supporting a flexible workforce, innovation and infrastructure, securing a competitive energy supply, and committing to a skills strategy agenda for all.

The conference prompted much discussion on social media, trending twice on Twitter, and generated widespread national coverage. You can watch the video produced for the conference here.

For more information contact Hywel Jarman, Director of External Affairs

EEF publishes manifesto for next Government

The backdrop of EEF’s national conference acted as the launch for EEF’s manifesto priorities for the next Government, in a publication entitled ‘Securing a Manufacturing Renaissance’. Ahead of the General Election in May, the manifesto outlines EEF’s call for the next government to focus on building the foundations of growth and achieving a better-balanced economy to ensure the UK is well placed to meet global challenges.

The manifesto sets out four key priorities for government to rebalance the economy as well as reinforcing calls for the UK to remain a leading and influential member of the EU. The manifesto attracted high profile political and media attention during the annual conference and dinner. It is also informing pre-election discussions with ministers, shadow ministers, advisers and other policy decision-makers and influencers.

EEF's policy proposals are based on four key themes:

  • create a more productive and flexible work force
  • improve infrastructure
  • reduce the cost of doing business
  • provide better support for growing businesses.

While the last five years have been about recovery, the next five must be about delivering a better-balanced economy. Some important groundwork has been laid and it is vital the next government builds on what has worked to date. Achieving a true rebalancing of the economy, however, was never going to be easy. It will involve tough choices and will not happen over the lifetime of a single Parliament. It is vital therefore the next government recognises this and sets lofty ambitions to provide the long term certainty that is necessary for manufacturing businesses to invest recruit and grow in the UK.

For more information contact Hywel Jarman, Director of External Affairs

Report shows Britain on the cusp of 4th industrial revolution

This week EEF published its report ‘Manufacturing, Britain’s Future’, sponsored by Infor and IBM, which sets out how the 4th industrial revolution is at hand and how innovative firms can take the lead and help position Britain as the manufacturing and technology hub of Europe.

Britain’s manufacturers are bracing themselves for the imminent impact of a 4th industrial revolution, but raise concerns over the UK’s ability to play a leading role. The revolution – dubbed Industry 4.0 and driven by rapid advances in technology – will become a widespread reality of manufacturing life within the next decade, with eight in ten manufacturers (80%) expecting their business to be affected by 2025.

Half of manufacturers (50%) say that Industry 4.0 will enable more production to be brought back to the UK.

As a result, over three quarters of manufacturers (78%) want to see Government, industry and academia working together to secure the UK’s role in the 4th industrial revolution. EEF will continue to campaign on a long-term industrial strategy spanning consecutive governments if it is to capitalise on the opportunities outlined in the report.

For more information contact Jo Ganly, Head of PR

Industrial strategy and higher education on the agenda with Labour Shadow Ministers

Members of EEF’s Government Affairs Group and member companies held a roundtable dinner with two key Labour shadow ministers. Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP, the Shadow Universities, Science and Skills Minister, and Iain Wright MP, Shadow Industry Minister, briefed the group on Labour’s industrial strategy plans and the party’s agenda for science, research and higher education. EEF will continue to engage with all parties on these key issues ahead of the General Election and beyond.

For more information contact Hywel Jarman, Director of External Affairs

EU ETS and green energy costs raised in meeting with DECC Under-Secretary Amber Rudd

EEF met with Amber Rudd MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, to discuss low-carbon policies and their impact on energy-intensive industries. We highlighted our campaign for reform of the provisions that are meant to protect globally competing industries such as steel from the costs of the EU Emissions Trading System, and reiterated our support for the work the government is doing to develop low-carbon roadmaps for energy intensive sectors. These roadmaps are being developed with input from industry and we hope they will provide a realistic vision of when emissions reductions can be made and what the barriers are. We also used the meeting to stress the importance of bringing forward compensation for renewable energy costs for energy intensive industries.

For more information contact Roz Bulleid, Senior Climate and Environment Policy Adviser

EEF to run 'manufacturing hub' at Resource 2015

On 3-5 March, EEF will be hosting the manufacturing hub at Resource at London’s Excel Centre. Free to attend, the conference promises three days of lively debate packed with strategy and practical advice. Visit EEF’s hub to speak to some of manufacturing’s leading practitioners of resource efficiency, including Rolls-Royce, Caterpillar and IoM3/Jaguar Land Rover. We will also be hosting an exciting range of intimate roundtables and workshops specifically designed for manufacturers. Come early to avoid disappointment as space will be limited.

Tuesday 3 March

11am - Professor Tim Baines, Aston Centre for Servitisation. From sales to services: exploring the complement between servitisation and the circular economy

2pm - Mark Hodgson, QSA Partners LLP, lead consultancy on REBus/WRAP innovation business model project. Developing business case for circular business models: lessons from pilots with UK manufacturers

3pm- Belinda Miller, Insight Director, Corporate Culture. Changing Behaviours All Round: a practical workshop using behaviour change tools to increase uptake of circular business models

Wednesday 4 March

10am – Bernie Rickinson, Chief Executive, IoM3  & Adrian Tautscher, Sustainable Aluminium Strategies, Jaguar Land Rover. Embedding circular thinking in JLR (tbc)

11am - Nick Grace, Business Development Manager Royal Society of Art, RapidPrototyping. Additive Manufacturing in the Circular Economy: challenges and opportunities

3pm - Stella Job, Supply Chain and Environment Office, Composites UK; Alex Edge, Business Development Manager, ELG Carbon Fibre & Graham Mulholland, Managing Director, epm:technology. Is there a role for composites in a circular economy?

Thursday 5 March

11am – Josh Fothergill, Resource Lead, Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment, and a speaker from EEF, the manufacturer’s organisation. Addressing the skills gap for a circular economy: a discussion

2pm - Andy Whyle, Ricoh environmental officer. Ricoh - the Circular Economy at our Telford Site:  An insight into re-manufacturing and zero waste

You can see the full conference agenda on the Resource website and register for free here

For more information please contact Susanne Baker, Senior Climate and Environment Policy Adviser

In the Media

Our National Manufacturing Conference generated widespread national coverage. Ed Miliband’s speech was reported in The Times (£), The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and The Daily Mail. Matthew Hancock’s speech featured in The Financial Times (£) and The Daily Telegraph. EEF Chairman Martin Temple’s speech at the Manufacturers’ Dinner was covered in The Times (£), The Financial Times (£) and The Daily Telegraph.

Our Manufacturing Britain’s Future report received widespread coverage in The Times (£) and The Daily Telegraph (link unavailable).

The Financial Times (£) published a letter, signed by a number of high-profile signatories including Chief Executive Terry Scuoler, about the importance of international students to the UK’s prosperity. The Daily Telegraph quoted EEF in an article about the Labour Party’s plans to cut university tuition fees from £9,000 to £6,000.

The findings of our latest Pay Bulletin were published in The Independent.

Week in review

GDP (Q4, second estimate)

The second estimate for UK GDP growth in the final quarter of 2014 was 0.5%, unrevised from the previous estimate. Manufacturing output is estimated to have increased by 0.2% over the same time period.

Business investment

In Q4 2014, business investment decreased by an estimated 1.4% compared with the previous quarter, however, over the course of 2014, business investment also grew by 6.8%, the largest annual growth since 2007.

The week ahead

2nd March: Manufacturing PMI

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