Intelligence Briefing 19th May 2016

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In this issue: EEF briefs Business Select Committee Chair| EEF engages with Labour MPs on the Apprenticeship Levy | Briefing key Labour party adviser | European manufacturers challenge Commission Vice-President | EEF attends event for launch of embedded benefits report | EEF Future Manufacturing Awards – recognising and rewarding UK manufacturing’s unsung heroes | Top apprentices to star in government campaign to get young people learning and earning | Made in Britain. Loved by the World. 14 June 2016, Exhibition Centre Liverpool. | In the media | Week in Review | The week ahead | Blogs from this week

EEF briefs Business Select Committee Chair

This week EEF met with the Chair of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee, Iain Wright MP. With the committee currently undertaking an inquiry into business views on the EU, this meeting provided a timely opportunity to brief him on EEF members’ views of EU membership. We have submitted written evidence to this inquiry and Lee Hopley, EEF Chief Economist, will be giving oral evidence to the Committee on Tuesday 24 May. During this meeting we also discussed a number of other issues affecting manufacturers, including our concerns with the government’s apprenticeship levy proposals.

For more information contact Rocky Lorusso, Head of Government Affairs & Stakeholder Engagement

EEF engages with Labour MPs on the Apprenticeship Levy

This week EEF met separately with Jonathan Reynolds MP and the office of Peter Kyle MP, both of whom sit on the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee. As well as outlining the challenges in finding the right people with the right skills, as found in our recent report ‘An Up-skill Battle’, EEF also raised its concerned around the forthcoming apprenticeship levy. With many unanswered questions on the levy, EEF has called for a delay until it is fit for purpose for business. We will continue our call to delay the levy until its many wrinkles are ironed out.

Separately, this week EEF met with Chris Leslie MP, where we updated him on the latest state of trade for the manufacturing sector and held a wide-ranging discussion on future policy ideas.

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

Briefing key Labour party adviser

EEF held an introductory meeting with Mike Hatchett, the new Head of Economic Policy for the Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn. We briefed him on the latest state of trade in the manufacturing sector, and covered a wide range of economic and business issues including industrial strategy, manufacturing productivity, infrastructure and investment, digital infrastructure and tax policy. We will continue to ensure key Labour party MPs and advisers are well-briefed in the manufacturing sector as part of our ongoing engagement with opposition parties.

For more information contact Rocky Lorusso, Head of Government Affairs & Stakeholder Engagement

European manufacturers challenge Commission Vice-President

EEF joined leaders of industry from around Europe in challenging EU Commission Vice-President Katainen to champion industrial competitiveness and better regulation. Speaking at CEEMET’s General Assembly in Rotterdam, Mr Katainen, highlighted that 136,000 SMEs and mid-caps are expected to benefit from the enhanced access to risk-bearing capital emerging from the EU’s flagship fund for strategic investment (EFSI). The €315 billion of the EFSI-fund is urgently needed to close the existing EU investment gap and to stay on track in achieving Commission President Juncker’s objective of an industry growth of 20% by 2020. European manufacturers need an investment friendly environment to drive growth and job creation.

Commenting on Mr Katainen’s speech, Uwe Combüchen Director General of CEEMET said that manufacturers “share Vice-President Katainen’s idea that regulation must not stifle the creation of new business” challenging the commission to “ask itself if the regulatory framework truly supports innovation & entrepreneurship.”

For more information contact Fergus McReynolds, Director of EU Affairs

EEF attends event for launch of embedded benefits report

EEF this week attended an event at the House of Commons to mark the launch of a new report next week, from the Association of Decentralised Energy (ADE). The report examined the importance of so-called ‘embedded benefits’ provided to electricity generators connected to distribution network; many of which will be manufacturers with their own onsite generation. The report’s launch follows on from joint letters (signed by ADE, EEF and other industrial organisations) to the DECC and BIS ministers raising concerns around proposals to amend emended benefits arrangements as part of Capacity Market Reforms. Ofgem is due to announce proposals for reform this summer. These reforms have the potential to significantly increase the electricity costs of those who generate and export electricity directly onto the distribution network thereby driving down demand on the transmission network and providing a valuable service to National Grid. The ADE report urges the Government to think again, noting that changes to embedded benefits are unlikely to achieve the desired aim of increasing the number of new build gas power plants receiving future Capacity Market contracts.

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

EEF Future Manufacturing Awards – recognising and rewarding UK manufacturing’s unsung heroes

We have launched our 8th annual Future Manufacturing awards.

The awards recognise the hard work and dedication of British manufacturers and apprentices. They are easy to enter and winning really helps to set your business apart. Details of how to enter can be found here.

There are nine award categories in total to go for. These include:

  • Environmental Achievement – in partnership with CMR consultancy group
  • Innovation – in partnership with HVM Catapult
  • Health and Safety – in partnership with Howden Group
  • Leadership
  • Business Growth
  • Developing people
  • Partnerships – in partnership with Rolls-Royce
  • Export
  • And of course our popular Apprentice Awards.

For the first time, the apprentice awards will also recognise the achievements of apprentices working in other important roles in manufacturing, such as marketing, procurement and finance. A new Business Apprentice Award has been launched this year to showcase the significant contribution they make to their employers’ business activities.

The Awards are open to all UK manufacturers and businesses operating within the supply chain. You don't need to be an EEF member to enter and it's free - so select the categories you're interested in and download your entry forms to get started.

For more information contact Alex Block, External Affairs Executive

Top apprentices to star in government campaign to get young people learning and earning

The Get in and Go Far campaign is calling on young people to kick-start their career by choosing an apprenticeship. Across England, hundreds of talented apprentices auditioned be the stars of the campaign that will show young people how an apprenticeship can give them the skills and experience they need to land their dream job. The talented young people who were selected landed work in top firms including IBM, JCB and Sellafield and will see their faces on billboards and television screens across England

To celebrate the campaign, apprentices everywhere are being encouraged to share selfies and video clips of themselves at work on social media.

More information about the campaign can be found here.

Apprenticeships play a key role in meeting the skill needs of our sector and manufactures remain true champions of apprenticeships with:

  • 66% of manufacturers planning to recruit an engineering apprentice in the next 12 months and 45% planning to recruit apprentices in other areas such as IT, sales and marketing.
  • The average pay for an engineering apprentice is £6.50 an hour, almost double the minimum wage for apprentices.
  • 31% of engineering apprentices receive bonuses, more than in other sectors.
  • When recruiting apprentices, 71% of manufacturing employers look for passion and enthusiasm in apprentices.

Thinking about applying for an apprenticeship? Information about EEF’s Birmingham apprentice training centre can be found here.

For more information contact Jo Ganly, Head of PR

Made in Britain. Loved by the World. 14 June 2016, Exhibition Centre Liverpool

What are the emerging trends in global manufacturing? Where are UK manufacturers leading the way and what are the secrets to their success? Why is the UK such a hotbed for product and process innovation?

We address these questions and more at Made in Britain. Loved by the World a manufacturers’ conference and business networking event delivered by EEF at the International Festival for Business 2016.

Featuring industry experts and panel debates from some of the UK's - as well as the world's - leading manufacturers, you'll have the opportunity to come together and share ideas; find solutions to common problems; Identify new customers, suppliers and business partners; access the world's biggest business festival and be a part of the world's largest business club network.

Book your place here.

‘Solving the Productivity Puzzle’

Following the morning session Siemens plc will be hosting an event entitled ‘Solving the Productivity Puzzle’. The panel experts will discuss “How digitalisation is rewriting the rules of manufacturing" and "Leadership & Skills: What needs to be done to spearhead a productivity shift". The event commences at 14.00 and closes at 16.30 followed by drinks and networking.

Book your place here.

In the media

UK Steel once again received heavy coverage as the steel crisis continued, featuring in The Guardian, The Mail, The Mirror, The Times (link unavailable), The Sun (link unavailable), The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Mirror, and The FT. Elsewhere, the launch of EEF’s Future Manufacturing Awards was covered in regional and trade publications, featuring in Business Matters, British Plastics and Rubber, IPE, HR Director and Midlands Business News.

For more information contact Alex Block, External Affairs Executive

Week in review


After picking up in March, CPI inflation edges back down to 0.3% in April. We don’t see this as the start of renewed downward trend in inflation. Rather, we should see a gradual pick up in the latter part of this year with CPI average 0.6% over 2016.


Unemployment on both the ILO and Claimant Count measure fell in the last labour market data from the ONS. The headline unemployment rate remains steady at 5.1% and the employment rate rose to another all high of 74.2%.

Pay Settlements

EF’s Pay Bulletin showed a subdue picture for wage growth in manufacturing. In the three months to April the average settlement was 1.7%, slightly down on the previous three month average of 1.8%. So far this year settlement levels have been trending lower than the 2% average seen in 2015.

The week ahead

26th May: GDP (2nd estimate)
26th May: Business Investment

Blogs from this week

16 May 2016
Weekly round up of forthcoming data releases by George Nikolaidis

18 May 2016
Why metal products have held up by Zach Witton

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