Intelligence Briefing 26th March 2015

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In this issue: Weekly Focus: EEF publishes third Women in Manufacturing report | Manufacturers meet EU Institutions on Health & Safety | Seminars to prepare employers for Shared Parental Leave | DECC publishes update report on energy infrastructure investment | Understanding risks in new markets | In Parliament | In the media | Week in review | The week ahead

Weekly Focus: EEF publishes third Women in Manufacturing report

EEF and Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking’s annual Women in Manufacturing report has been published, providing the third annual assessment of female boardroom representation in the sector, and the further efforts required to attract and retain talented women.

The report’s key findings are:

  • For the second year running every FTSE 100 manufacturer has at least one female director on their board – women now account for 23% of total board seats, up from 21% last year
  • 25% of new board appointments in FTSE 100 manufacturers are now going to women - up from 19% last year
  • GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever and Diageo lead the way with five female board members each – at 45% Diageo also boasts the greatest proportion of board level women
  • While growth is seen in non-executive roles, female share of executive directorships in FTSE 100 manufacturers remains static at 8%
  • The sector needs to focus on building the overall talent pipeline, while addressing the worryingly low number of women within it says EEF.

The foreword was provided by Jo Swinson MP, Minister for Women and Equalities. The report also looks at five case studies of young female apprentices, who explain why they have chosen an apprenticeship and career in the sector, how they are finding it and the support they enjoy from their employers to help them make a success of their career.

For more information contact Jo Ganly, Head of PR

Manufacturers meet EU Institutions on Health & Safety

This week a delegation of EEF member companies met officials from key EU Institutions in Brussels. Members met with the UK Representation to the EU to discuss the Council’s current and future work programme, with a particular focus on health and safety. They also spoke with Anthea McIntyre MEP, ECR coordinator on the European Parliament Employment Committee, which leads on health and safety legislation with a focus on Better Regulation.

Finally, the delegation met with Dr. F. Jesús Alvarez Hidalgo, the Deputy Head of Unit “Health, Safety and Hygiene at Work”; Jonathan Stoodley, Head of Unit “Evaluation, Regulatory Fitness and Performance”; and Francisco Caballero Sanz, Head of Unit “Industrial Competitiveness Policy for Growth”. The delegation was supported by the European Commission.

EEF will continue to engage with European Commission representatives on Better Regulation issues.

For more information contact Fergus McReynolds, Director of EU Affairs

Seminars to prepare employers for Shared Parental Leave

Parents of babies born from 5th April 2015 will be the first to benefit from Shared Parental Leave, a new right introduced by the Government which makes the parental leave system more flexible.

The entitlement means that eligible parents will be able to share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay. The leave and pay must be taken between the date of the child’s birth and their first birthday. The new right also applies to working couples who are matched with a child for adoption on or after that date. In the case of adoption, the leave and pay must be taken within 52 weeks of the child joining the family. Information on the legislation can be found on the Government’s website.

To support employers, EEF has added additional dates for its half-day seminar – Who’s holding the baby? The new dates are 6th May in Bristol and 14th May in Birmingham. To find out more visit EEF’s website.

For more information contact Roger Thomas, Business Development Marketing Campaigns Manager

DECC publishes update report on energy infrastructure investment

DECC has this week published the third of its reports which provide an indepth update on the progress made on UK investment in low carbon energy since 2010. Energy projects account for some 60% of those in the pipeline for UK infrastructure. with a total of £42bn worth of investment having been secured in renewables, nuclear and carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects since 2010. The report details that renewables capacity has grown by 165% since 2010 and now provides 18% of our electricity needs. Turnover in the wider low carbon economy is estimated to be £122bn, supporting 460,000 jobs.

For more information contact Richard Warren, Senior Energy and Environment Policy Adviser

Understanding risks in new markets

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) Overseas Business Risk (OBR) web portal is offering free information - particularly aimed at small and medium-sized businesses - to help identify and mitigate overseas business risks. The website covers over 80 overseas markets and include information on the political and economic situation in each market. The FCO is currently reviewing the scope and helpfulness of the information provided and is inviting business feedback via a short e-survey.

For more information or to provide more detailed feedback contact Georgina Simpson at the FCO.

In Parliament

During oral questions to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) this week, Shadow Business Minister Iain Wright MP mentioned EEF’s call for a National Infrastructure Authority.

In the media

The findings of Women in Manufacturing report were reported in The Guardian, The Independent and The Daily Mail.

Our response to last week’s Budget announcement received widespread national coverage in The Financial Times (subscription required), The Daily Telegraph (link unavailable), The Guardian, The Daily Express and BBC News. An opinion piece from Chief Executive Terry Scuoler also featured in The Daily Mail.

The Financial Times (subscription required) quoted EEF in an article on collaboration between business and universities to prepare the engineers of the future, and The Daily Telegraph quoted EEF in an article on the ongoing debate on expansion of either London’s Heathrow or Gatwick airport.

In climate and environment news, The Daily Mail quoted EEF in an article on the impact of green taxes on industry.

For more information contact Sophie Carroll, External Affairs Executive

Week in review

Consumer prices

The annual rate of CPI inflation fell to 0.0% in February from 0.3% in January. This is the lowest figure on record for CPI inflation. Even stripping out the effect of volatile price movements, such as energy and food, core inflation came in at just 1.2%, down from 1.4% in January.

Producer prices

Total input prices for UK manufacturers fell 13.5% in the year to February 2015, compared with a fall of 14.1% in the year to January 2015 and output prices fell 1.8% in the year to February.

The week ahead

31st March: GDP (2014 Q4), Business Investment

1st April: Manufacturing PMI

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