Features

A budget for making things

Manufacturing took the centre stage in last month’s Budget and many are calling for a feather in the cap of Chancellor George Osborne. A few things still need ironing out, though. Mark Young analyses the measures with feed in from manufacturers, Ministers and trade organisations.

Taking responsibility for energy

While there is consensus among the majority of academics, politicians and business leaders regarding climate change, much more still needs to be done to instigate the change necessary to maintain atmospheric CO2 at an acceptable level. Reducing energy consumption is key to this change but perhaps, as an energy intensive sector, manufacturers need to do more. Tim Brown explores alternative energy use within manufacturing.

Handling a tipping point

Last month Toyota Material Handling Europe, a major subsidiary of Toyota Industries, welcomed over 100 international trade journalists to its first major press event since 2008. Jane Gray attended to learn more about the new products being show-cased, the company’s post-recession strategy and how the famed Toyota Production System is playing its part.

Skillful deployment

Innovating around methods for employee retention is a priority for firms, especially SMEs trying to keep their heads above water. For some though, strategic repositioning or right sizing may mean that jobs and skills will be lost.

Retaining talent

Replacing members of staff is an expensive business. In industries like manufacturing where appropriate skills can be hard to come by, a high attrition rate could cost more than just cash. Mark Young explores the steps companies can take to hang on to their headcounts.

Giving a face to industry

As many manufacturers contend, there is a substantial lack of awareness among the public and wider business of the opportunities available in UK manufacturing. This has led to a shortfall in the skills and investment necessary to sustain a strong manufacturing base. Last month’s Global Manufacturing Festival is one of a number of events taking place this year hoping to improve the image of industry, generate interest in manufacturing and stimulate debate about the issues facing the sector. Tim Brown reports.