Intelligence Briefing 5th November 2015

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In this issue: Weekly Focus: Innovation Support Report Card shows Government support for innovation ‘could do better’ | EEF meets Chair of Education Select Committee | Manufacturers’ priorities on the agenda with new Shadow Small Business Minister | In Parliament | In the media | Week in Review | The week ahead | Blogs from this week

Weekly Focus: Innovation Support Report Card shows Government support for innovation ‘could do better’

This week EEF published its Innovation Support Report Card, a look into how manufacturers think the UK measures up against competitor nations.

Manufacturers see some very positive aspects in UK innovation support – such as the world class science base, and competitive R&D tax incentive. However, as it stands, they think that support could do better in terms of helping them access all of the resources they need. The most successful innovative economies have strengths across a breadth of areas and this should be the ultimate aim for the UK.

Manufacturers say the UK comes out top of the class on tax incentives, with half saying that the UK is as good as the competition when it comes to tax treatment of R&D. However, manufacturers say the UK could do better when it comes to business access to scientific research, support for external innovation partnerships and Government support for commercialising new technology.

While they highlight a number of recent improvements, such as the introduction of Catapult centres, further progress must be made. Without it, the UK looks set to remain an innovation follower, unable to reap the rewards of successfully bringing research to market.

For further information please contact Felicity Burch, Senior Economist

EEF meets Chair of Education Select Committee

EEF met Neil Carmichael MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee. We discussed key issues around skills and education, including how to create more high quality apprenticeships and how to get more young people choosing apprenticeships in manufacturing and engineering. We also discussed the joint Productivity inquiry being conducted by the Education Committee and the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, which EEF will be feeding into.

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

Manufacturers’ priorities on the agenda with new Shadow Small Business Minister

EEF had an introductory meeting with the new Shadow Small Business Minister, Bill Esterson MP. Items on the agenda included the current state of manufacturing and the sector’s priorities ahead of the Spending Review and Autumn Statement later this month. The challenges currently facing the steel sector were also discussed, including potential changes to the Business Rates regime, which would support investment in the industry and wider manufacturing. We also touched on a number of other issues which fall within the Shadow Minister’s remit, including access to finance, devolution and industrial strategy.

For further information please contact Lee Hopley, Chief Economist

In Parliament

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts referenced EEF and the importance of ensuring high-quality apprenticeships during the Committee Stage of the Enterprise Bill.

In the media

EEF’s response to the latest PMI data featured in The Financial Times (link unavailable) and The Daily Express (link unavailable).

The Daily Telegraph quoted EEF in an article about the challenges facing the manufacturing sector.

UK Steel’s comments on the back of recent job loss announcements continued to be covered in The Guardian (link unavailable) and The Daily Mail.

For more information contact Sophie Carroll, External Affairs Executive

Week in review

Manufacturing PMI

The manufacturing PMI jumped from a revised figure of 51.8 in September to 55.5 in October, its highest level since June 2014. Domestic demand was a strong spur for this month’s positive reading, but manufacturers also reported a pick-up in export demand from the Middle East and the US.

The week ahead

6th Nov: Index of production, UK trade
11th Nov: Labour market statistics

Blogs from this week

02 Nov 2015
Innovation Support Report Card by Felicity Burch

03 Nov 2015
Tomorrow's Engineers Week #TEWeek15 by Verity O’Keefe

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