Intelligence Briefing 16th June 2015

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In this issue: EEF and Associate Parliamentary Manufacturing Group host successful Summer Reception | Engagement with new MPs | Manufacturing Alliance discusses EU renegotiation with Downing Street Adviser | Gender pay reporting: free EEF webinar on the who, what, where and when | In Parliament | In the Media | Week in review | The week ahead | Blogs this week

EEF and Associate Parliamentary Manufacturing Group host successful Summer Reception

EEF sponsored and helped to organise a successful summer reception for new MPs with the Associate Parliamentary Manufacturing Group. The event, which was held on the House of Lords Terrace, was attended by a large group of new and returning MPs, as well as EEF members and other key stakeholders from industry. In particular, there were speeches made by Lord O’Neill of Clackmannan, who sponsored the event, Chris White MP, Co-Chair of the APMG, Terry Scuoler, CEO of EEF, and Stephen Doughty MP, the new Shadow Business Minister. Of particular note, the new Small Business, Industry and Enterprise Minister, Anna Soubry MP, spoke at the event and also stayed to answer questions from the audience. The Minister praised EEF and in particular Terry Scouler’s important intervention on behalf of the steel industry which helped persuade ministers to vote in Brussels, in favour of maintaining anti-dumping duties on wire rod.

AnnaSoubry 

Anna Soubry MP, Small Business, Industry and Enterprise Minister, speaking at the APMG/EEF Summer Reception.

For more information contact Rocky Lorusso, Head of Government Affairs

Engagement with new MPs

As part of our ongoing engagement with new MPs, we held an introductory meeting with the new Labour MP for Salford and Eccles, Rebecca Long-Bailey, where we briefed her on the state of trade in the manufacturing sector. We also discussed a range of important issues for industry, including devolution proposals for Greater Manchester, industrial strategy, skills and apprentices support and the UK’s future in the EU. EEF will be following up with Ms Long-Bailey at a local level, and more broadly we will continue to engage with new MPs across all parties in the months ahead.

For more information contact Rocky Lorusso, Head of Government Affairs

Manufacturing Alliance discusses EU renegotiation with Downing Street Adviser

This week the DGs and CEOs of the Manufacturing Alliance, the group of the largest trade associations in the manufacturing sector which is chaired and co-ordinated by EEF, held a roundtable meeting with Mats Persson, EU Adviser to the Prime Minister. The meeting provided an opportunity for a discussion on the government’s ongoing EU renegotiation and the importance of the UK’s membership of the EU to a range of industries.

For more information contact Rocky Lorusso, Head of Government Affairs

Gender pay reporting: free EEF webinar on the who, what, where and when

This week the government announced it would be pressing ahead with plans requiring firms with over 250 employees to report on their gender pay gap among employees. A large number of manufacturers are likely to be affected by any new legislation and a consultation is currently open which seeks views from businesses and their representatives.

EEF will be responding to the consultation as well as engaging directly with government to ensure the new rules are implemented in a flexible way to allow employers to demonstrate the action they are taking to address any gender pay gap, and to ensure that gender pay is not confused with equal pay.

To help shape our response to the consultation and wider policy thinking, we are hosting a free webinar on 26th August. This webinar will give an overview of the government’s proposals to require businesses to report their gender pay gap.

We will talk through the ‘who, what, where and when’ of the new requirements as well as outline the various approaches that could be adopted to minimise the impact of the new proposals on businesses and ensure that employers have as much flexibility as possible. You can register for the webinar on EEF’s website.

To understand the real implications of gender pay reporting ahead of the webinar, companies are encouraged to complete a short anonymous survey. The results will be shared during the webinar, giving access to brand new insight on this important issue.

For more information contact Verity O’Keefe, Senior Employment and Skills Policy Adviser

In Parliament

In a debate on the UK steel industry, Tom Blenkinsop MP reiterated EEF’s call for the government to adopt the charter for sustainable British steel to respond to high levels of steel imports from other countries.

In a debate on the Budget, Khalid Mahmood MP for Perry Barr, Birmingham, referenced EEF’s Technology Training Centre in Aston while discussing apprenticeships and the proposed training levy. It is the second time this MP has mentioned the training centre this month.

In the media

Our response to last week’s Budget statement was widely reported in The Financial Times(subscription required), The Times(£), The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, BBC News and Channel 4 News.

The Times(£) referenced EEF’s concerns in an article about the government’s proposed apprentice training levy for business. Our response to the government’s gender pay announcement featured in The Daily Mail.

For more information contact Sophie Carroll, External Affairs Executive

Week in review

Index of production

Total production output increased by 0.4% in May 2015 compared with April 2015. However, within this, manufacturing output decreased by 0.6% the largest contribution to this fall was from basic metals & metal products, where output dropped by 3.7% over the month.

CPI

The annual rate of CPI inflation fell to 0% in the year to June, after briefly moving to positive territory in May. The decline in the CPI was mostly down to base effects as the rare increase in clothing prices in June 2014 was not replicated this year.

Labour market statistics

The ILO measure of unemployment increased by 15,000 in the three months to May compared with the three months to February – the first increase since August 2013. Although this still represents a fall of 273,000 on a year earlier. Similarly, the Claimant Count measure of unemployment – which records the number of people claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance – rose by 7,000.

The week ahead

22nd Jul: MPC minutes

Blogs from this week

16 Jul 2015 - To Heathrow, or not to Heathrow - that is now the question by Chris Richards

15 Jul 2015 - 99 problems and productivity is no.1 by Lee Hopley

14 Jul 2015 - Mind the gap: what does gender pay reporting mean for manufacturers? By Verity O’Keefe

13 Jul 2015 - Week ahead 13th July by Felicity Burch

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