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Upskilling essential according to new research 19/11/2018

Manufacturers will have to raise their game to use their shrinking workforce better and smarter to cope in an ever-changing world of automated technologies, according to new research by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation.

Initiating a proper workforce plan – which analyses employees’ skills and where they can be used to best effect – ensures the best use of available human capital. This will become ever more important in the face of increased restrictions on EU workers post-Brexit, according to EEF’s latest report: Reinventing the Manufacturing Workforce. A properly thought out workforce plan also helps identify those employees who will benefit most from the opportunity to retrain and up-skill in the latest digital technologies.

However only 32% of manufacturers surveyed had a workforce plan (a plan with measurable actions that align the changing needs of the business with their people strategy) in place; almost two-thirds (64%) did not. 

The report reveals that 69% of those surveyed said that the adoption of new technologies and techniques is driving the priorities of their workforce plan, while nearly half (44%) said that the introduction of new products is the main driver for change in workforce practices.

To prepare to secure the skills they need for the future a heartening 72% of businesses revealed that they are introducing or continuing to run formal apprenticeships, while half (48%) are revising their recruitment strategy to recruit workers from other industries and sectors with transferable skills.

Others are introducing or continuing with popular graduate programmes to grab the best potential talent while just over a quarter (26%) are revising their workforce plan.

Flexible ways of working have already been adopted by all but 15% of manufacturers to non-production employees and 7% to their production employees, which has helped to retain existing employees (74%) and also attract prospective employees (56%).

Tim Thomas, director of Employment and Skills at EEF, says: “Manufacturers are facing both a turbulent but also revolutionary time. Brexit is now on the horizon, bringing with it challenges around access to people. Planning for these changes is vital, yet only a relatively small number of manufacturers have a workforce plan in place.

“Planning is crucial not just to prepare for these challenges but also to take advantage of future opportunities. Technological change has the potential to radically change the workplace in ways never before seen. People will be at the heart of this, adapting not only to new ways of working, but also to new work, requiring a step change in the way employers train their workforce and deploy their skills.

“Manufacturers have over time proved themselves to be adaptable, innovative and resilient. They have the tools and talent to make to make a success of the rapidly changing work they face, but they need government’s backing in creating the right business environment and developing policies within which they can thrive.

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EEF calls for Brexit transition extension 29/10/2018

Failure to agree terms with WTO means UK needs more time to prepare for EU withdrawal, says the manufacturer’s organisation. Its CEO has called the Government's hope of the easy 'cut and paste' of existing deals as "naive".

Stephen Phipson CBE, chief executive of EEF, said an extension to the implementation or transition period was vital. International trade negotiations often take over 5 years and we are only at the beginning of this process.

"The Government has failed to prepare adequately for the time and complexity required to reach agreement with the WTO. While talks continue industry urgently needs clarity and stability. That means a significantly longer transition period following our exit from the EU.

"This will ensure UK manufacturing can continue to operate under the EU’s existing protections while the Government takes the time it needs to secure advantageous new trading deals with other countries.

"As we have consistently said, successful international trade deals take years to negotiate. The Government’s hope that agreeing a tariff schedule with the WTO would be simple was naïve. At a time of rising protectionism and the return of barriers to trade it is no great surprise that other countries have refused to accept our ‘cut and paste’ short-cut.

“Many of our members have been planning on the back of repeated assurances that membership of the WTO and new trading deals with other countries would be struck quickly and easily. Now the Government must recognise that this strategy has failed and it must allow industry sufficient time to prepare for an uncertain global trading relationship. We must not give up all the benefits of the EU.”

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UK urged to back EU safety rules post Brexit 22/10/2018

Britain's manufacturers are calling for the current health and safety landscape to be maintained when the UK leaves the European Union, with existing worker production and legislative requirements continuing to be transferred into UK law to avoid cost and disruption to business.

The call is made in a wide-ranging report into the UK’s health and safety landscape published by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation and leading health and safety manufacturer Arco, which is entitled ‘Making Health & Safety work for UK Business – manufacturers’ concerns in a post Brexit World’. The survey of 144 companies was conducted in Spring 2018.

In particular, the report says it is vital that the British Standards Institution (BSI) continues to play a leading role in European standards setting so that UK companies can continue to make products set within the European standards environment. This is essential to ensure UK companies can continue to trade without the risk of technical barriers emerging and to avoid the unnecessary development of multiple standards.

Head of health and safety policy at EEF Terry Woolmer said: “There is a clear message from manufacturers that there should be no rapid change post Brexit to the UK’s health & safety regulatory regime. The Government’s current approach of grandfathering existing EU worker protection and product safety standards into UK law for the foreseeable future is the right one.

“This is essential to avoid costly disruption, the emergence of any technical barriers and the development of unnecessary multiple standards which might damage the prospects of some companies being able to operate seamlessly when the UK leaves the EU. It is also vital that BSI continues to play a leading role in setting the European standards environment, a position where the UK has substantial expertise.

Arco head of heavy manufacturing Lee Pickering added: “This report clearly identifies the concerns and beliefs of leaders within the sector, giving policymakers a vital insight into how manufacturing bosses believe Brexit should be rolled out. We agree that that a rapid change in regulation post Brexit isn’t the correct approach as it would cause disruption but we also believe Brexit affords us an opportunity to review and improve health & safety regulations within the UK.

“What we don’t want to see happen once we leave the EU is the Government using Brexit as a justification for complacency as there are issues within our current framework that urgently need addressing if we are to ensure the safety of UK workers.”

According to the survey 42 percent of companies want no change to the current regulatory regime, whilst a further 55 percent want no immediate change, but would like a review of health and safety regulations once the UK has left the EU. This might include more recent directives which are not risk based and where the level of health and safety benefits are more questionable. Just 3 percent of companies wanted to revert to the pre-EU Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.

A desire for a review of the existing landscape was significantly more pronounced amongst medium and larger companies (66.7% and 55.2% respectively) that may have the resources to deal with any change and see Brexit as an opportunity to simplify the system, whilst smaller companies might prefer to deal with an existing scenario rather than face any disruption.

As well as examining the European health and safety environment, the report takes a wide-ranging look at the UK domestic environment for health & safety which has seen significant regulatory change.

This includes the first impact of the changes to Health & Safety fines introduced in 2016. In the manufacturing sector, fines doubled between 2015/16 to 2016/17 from £12.5m to £25.1m, resulting in an average fine of just under £160k. Despite this large increase, two fifths of companies have taken no action to review their procedures whilst a third of companies had not seen any increase in involvement of senior management in health & safety since 2012, bucking a long term trend of improvement.

According to EEF, the fact that substantial changes in sentencing guidelines and increased fines have not altered company behaviour shows that they are not changing management culture towards health and safety and are merely a blunt tool revenue raising exercise for HM Treasury.

In response, EEF believes that the revenue raised from fines should be ring-fenced and used more proactively to promote health & safety, whilst courts should have stronger powers to issue remedial orders with the aim of bringing about lasting improvements to health & safety management systems and practices.

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Brexit puts brakes on manufacturing investment 02/10/2018

Britain’s manufacturers have sharply applied the brakes to their investment plans in response to growing political uncertainty at home and rising fears of the impact of global trade tensions, according to a major survey by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, and Santander.

The annual EEF/Santander Investment Monitor shows that in the last two years the proportion of turnover investment by manufacturers increased on the back of a robust growth picture in the world economy. 

Looking forward, however, the picture is somewhat different with just over a third (34%) of companies planning to increase their investment in plant and machinery, the lowest figure in the survey’s five year history. This sentiment is especially pronounced for small companies where three quarters of companies are refraining from increasing their investment in the coming two years.

As a reason for not investing, just under a third of companies (30%) are citing political uncertainty as a reason (up from 17% last year) whilst order book uncertainty has risen significantly over the last year (23% to 36%) in response to the cocktail of domestic and international forces. In particular, almost a fifth of companies (17%) are holding off their investments due to a lack of clarity on Brexit.

According to EEF, the brakes on investment will have significant impact on attempts to improve the UK’s productivity performance because the opportunity costs of this lost investment are significant. This will likely widen the UK’s capital gap even further with our competitors who are nor spending their time dealing with the political and economic complexities of leaving the EU.

The survey reveals which aspects of companies’ investment plans have been most susceptible to Brexit-related uncertainty – just over half of companies (51% said investment in plant and machinery had been put on hold because of Brexit negotiations and over a third (36%) have shelved plans to invest in new and improved buildings. Other areas of investment are not immune with a significant proportion of R&D programmes and IT systems on hold.

These plans will be to the detriment of efforts to get the UK’s flat lining productivity performance back on its pre-crisis trend.  In addition to manufacturers recognising that, on balance, investment has barely been sufficient to avoid more recruitment to meet capacity requirements, the survey also shows that investment challenges go further than political uncertainty. For example, hurdles to new technology adoption are especially pronounced amongst smaller companies who feel they have not been investing enough to keep at the forefront of technological change.

This has important implications for the fourth industrial revolution given almost 40% of companies with a hundred or fewer employees said they would have prioritised investment in plant and machinery, a key factor in being at the forefront of technological change.

Commenting, EEF Chief Economist, Ms Lee Hopley, said: “Our latest Investment Monitor puts into sharp focus the widening gap between the investment manufacturers know they need to make to capitalise on growth opportunities and to adopt productivity enhancing technologies and the hurdles they face in getting those decisions over the line. The upcoming Budget needs to take some bold steps to support companies in addressing this shortfall until the clouds of uncertainty start to lift.”

The survey covered 232 companies form 1-23 August

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One in six manufacturers say business will become untenable with a no-deal Brexit 25/09/2018

New research published today by EEF, The Manufacturers’ Organisation, shows that one is six manufacturers business decision makers say business would become untenable for them if the UK reverted to WTO tariffs, increased border checks on people and increased checks on goods at the border.

A quarter say that as a result of Brexit they have experienced, or are expecting to experience, losing out on investment (23%), losing skilled EU workers (24%) and losing a new contract (27%). While a similar number expect to change their growth plans as a result of Brexit.

Moreover, 30% of businesses say that they are finding or expect to find it more difficult to recruit workers with the necessary skills.

The EEF-commissioned ComRes survey of 500 manufacturing business decision makers finds with just 6 months to go until Britain leaves the EU, four in five (83%) say that they are currently not prepared for a no-deal Brexit. Two in five companies (43%) say they are not prepared and will not be preparing for what would happen if the Government fails to strike an agreement.

Respondents were uncertain about where future opportunities lie, with 24% not clear what their biggest post-Brexit opportunity will be, but there was a definite appetite to take advantage of new trade possibilities.

The survey showed that businesses see America as the top priority for a new trade deal after Brexit (52%) while two in five businesses (41%) are already exploring, or expect to explore, new markets outside the EU.

Manufacturers are however clear on their priorities for the Brexit negotiations, as trade with the EU seen as critical. Some 58% of business leaders highlighted the need to retain no tariff trade with the EU, and half (50%) emphasised the importance of retaining full access to the single market. Respondents also recognised the need for new trade deals outside the EU, with 68% referencing this as a priority. There is also clear concern about investment, with over a fifth of respondents (21%) having either lost or expecting to lose out on investment because of Brexit.

Remaining in the Customs Union was seen as important for 71% of those businesses surveyed.

In parallel, ComRes ran focus groups of EEF members in three locations around the UK to further drill down into the thinking behind the answers business leaders gave in the wider survey. Clarity, even if the result was not conducive to business such as a no-deal Brexit, was preferable to the current uncertainty. There was further concern that investor have already started to look elsewhere and there was a worry that business opportunities in the EU would be restricted.

However, while companies saw turbulence in the short term, in the longer term manufacturing businesses are optimistic that business affairs will settle naturally as the UK and EU reach a stable agreement.

EEF commissioned today’s research in response to ongoing calls from EEF members for greater clarity on the implications of Brexit on their day-to-day operations. The manufacturing industry accounts for 10% of the UK’s economic output and over 2.5 million jobs.

As well as the new research, EEF also published its own Brexit Audit of the Government’s White Paper. This highlighted four key outcomes which Industry needs to see from the final negotiations to make Brexit work and amounts to an endorsement of the Prime Minister’s Chequers plan. These include:

  • A properly planned, open ended implementation period for leaving the EU, likely to take many/several years, and open-ended to allow trade negotiations sufficient time to conclude and the outcome to be implemented without artificial constraints
  • Frictionless trade by ensuring no tariffs on the import of goods and ensuring British companies can continue to operate ‘just in time delivery’ logistics as part of an integrated supply chain
  • An ability for workers to move into and out of the UK, ensuring British companies can fill vacancies where they have skills gaps and send workers overseas to meet the requirements of service contracts and other commercial opportunities
  • A commitment for Britain to maintain mutually recognised, close regulatory alignment with the EU, supported by a common system of arbitration and standard setting, ensuring that British firms can produce goods that can be easily traded across Europe with clear protections in place.

Commenting, Stephen Phipson, Chief Executive at EEF, said: “Today’s research reinforces the need for manufacturers to get a deal to ensure they deliver for the UK economy. They also desperately require clarity to be able to prepare. It is absolutely crucial that an industry that accounts for 10% of the UK’s economic output and almost half of the country’s exports, prepares for exit day and all its possible implications. But currently over 80% have no plans to prepare for a scenario such as no-deal.

“Industry is one of the jewels in the crown for the UK economy and can continue to be post-Brexit. It must however be given the opportunity to adapt and build in robust Brexit preparations. The Chequers deal is a pragmatic and realistic solution which offers a practical way forward. It is now essential that the Prime Minister is given the backing to deliver on it."

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Survey highlights concerns over no-deal Brexit 21/09/2018

New research published by EEF, The Manufacturers’ Organisation, shows that one is six manufacturers business decision makers say business would become untenable for them if the UK reverted to WTO tariffs, increased border checks on people and increased checks on goods at the border.

A quarter say that as a result of Brexit they have experienced, or are expecting to experience, losing out on investment (23%), losing skilled EU workers (24%) and losing a new contract (27%). While a similar number expect to change their growth plans as a result of Brexit.

Moreover, 30% of businesses say that they are finding or expect to find it more difficult to recruit workers with the necessary skills.

The EEF-commissioned ComRes survey of 500 manufacturing business decision makers finds with just 6 months to go until Britain leaves the EU, four in five (83%) say that they are currently not prepared for a no-deal Brexit. Two in five companies (43%) say they are not prepared and will not be preparing for what would happen if the Government fails to strike an agreement.

Respondents were uncertain about where future opportunities lie, with 24% not clear what their biggest post-Brexit opportunity will be, but there was a definite appetite to take advantage of new trade possibilities.

The survey showed that businesses see America as the top priority for a new trade deal after Brexit (52%) while two in five businesses (41%) are already exploring, or expect to explore, new markets outside the EU.

Manufacturers are however clear on their priorities for the Brexit negotiations, as trade with the EU seen as critical. Some 58% of business leaders highlighted the need to retain no tariff trade with the EU, and half (50%) emphasised the importance of retaining full access to the single market.  Respondents also recognised the need for new trade deals outside the EU, with 68% referencing this as a priority. There is also clear concern about investment, with over a fifth of respondents (21%) having either lost or expecting to lose out on investment because of Brexit.

Remaining in the Customs Union was seen as important for 71% of those businesses surveyed.

In parallel, ComRes ran focus groups of EEF members in three locations around the UK to further drill down into the thinking behind the answers business leaders gave in the wider survey. Clarity, even if the result was not conducive to business such as a no-deal Brexit, was preferable to the current uncertainty. There was further concern that investor have already started to look elsewhere and there was a worry that business opportunities in the EU would be restricted.

However, while companies saw turbulence in the short term, in the longer term manufacturing businesses are optimistic that business affairs will settle naturally as the UK and EU reach a stable agreement.

EEF commissioned the research in response to ongoing calls from EEF members for greater clarity on the implications of Brexit on their day-to-day operations. The manufacturing industry accounts for 10% of the UK’s economic output and over 2.5 million jobs.

As well as the new research, EEF also published its own Brexit Audit of the Government’s White Paper. This highlighted four key outcomes which Industry needs to see from the final negotiations to make Brexit work and amounts to an endorsement of the Prime Minister’s Chequers plan. These include:

  • A properly planned, open ended implementation period for leaving the EU, likely to take many/several years, and open-ended to allow trade negotiations sufficient time to conclude and the outcome to be implemented without artificial constraints
  • Frictionless trade by ensuring no tariffs on the import of goods and ensuring British companies can continue to operate ‘just in time delivery’ logistics as part of an integrated supply chain
  • An ability for workers to move into and out of the UK, ensuring British companies can fill vacancies where they have skills gaps and send workers overseas to meet the requirements of service contracts and other commercial opportunities
  • A commitment for Britain to maintain mutually recognised, close regulatory alignment with the EU, supported by a common system of arbitration and standard setting, ensuring that British firms can produce goods that can be easily traded across Europe with clear protections in place

Commenting, Stephen Phipson, Chief Executive at EEF, said: “This research reinforces the need for manufacturers to get a deal to ensure they deliver for the UK economy. They also desperately require clarity to be able to prepare. It is absolutely crucial that an industry that accounts for 10% of the UK’s economic output and almost half of the country’s exports, prepares for exit day and all its possible implications. But currently over 80% have no plans to prepare for a scenario such as no-deal. 

“Industry is one of the jewels in the crown for the UK economy and can continue to be post-Brexit. It must however be given the opportunity to adapt and build in robust Brexit preparations. The Chequers deal is a pragmatic and realistic solution which offers a practical way forward. It is now essential that the Prime Minister is given the backing to deliver on it.”

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Game-based learning tool to promote health & safety 20/09/2018

EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, launched a new game-based learning tool at the recent IOSH conference. It will provide employers and employees with an interactive tool to promote Health & Safety in the workplace.

The PC and tablet-based tool is an audio-visual experience which can be custom-branded and also tailor-made to replicate an exact workplace. In the game, learners are rewarded for speed and accuracy of decision-making as they manage health & safety risks within a simulated work environment. It will also allow individuals and departments to compete against each other to have the best risk assessment and health & safety awareness.

The game provides employers with insight into areas where further knowledge is required and potential hot spots in the business with the ability to track improvements inn knowledge and awareness. As a result they can track the likeliness and severity of risk and take preventative action.

The tool has been used by Fujitsu as part of its international training programme and Simon Head, head of health and safety, EMEIA and Americas, Fujitsu said: “This tool has been the lynchpin of our international training programme. Uptake has far exceeded any other e-based training tools, people are talking and behaviour is changing.”

Find out more and play the demonstration game at http://www.eef.org.uk/hsgame

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EEF welcomes VAT deferral for importers 28/08/2018

As the Government published the first raft of technical notices on Brexit, Stephen Phipson, chief executive of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, welcomed the decision to allow importers to defer VAT payments.

He said: “This is  is very gratefully received and is something EEF has been campaigning hard for with Government in order to protect the 145,000 businesses in the UK which are above the VAT threshold.

“EEF welcomes the increased clarity for businesses following the publication. However, the remaining notices need to be published at the utmost speed so companies have the full picture to enable them to prepare properly for a no-deal scenario.

“We also welcome the commitment to create UK replacements for the regulatory bodies we will leave next March if we fail to reach a deal with the EU. However, we would like Government to make firm commitments to ensure these bodies can swiftly recruit the skilled people they need to deliver a seamless regulatory environment in the event of a no deal exit. However, we remain confident that Government will secure a deal with the EU and will continue to work with ministers to help secure this.”

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Manufacturing pay myth smashed in new analysis 28/08/2018

UK manufacturing makes a contribution to the UK economy which goes way beyond just the sum of its sub-sector parts according to an annual snapshot of the sector published today by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation and Santander.

In particular, ‘UK Manufacturing: 2018/19 The Facts’ smashes the continuing myth that manufacturing jobs are badly paid with the average salary in manufacturing sitting at £32.5k. This compares to £29k for the economy overall and 28.3k for services. Every manufacturing sub-sector also has higher average salaries than the service sector, apart from food and drink, with the highest being the high skill Transport sector at £39.8k.

This sub-sector strength is further reflected in productivity growth where five sectors outperform the whole economy and services. The electronics sector leads the pack with productivity growth of 13.5% from 2012 to 2017. Overall manufacturing continues to exceed the whole economy (up 3.1% compared to 2.4% for the economy and services).

The analysis by EEF and Santander also highlights the shifting sub-sector mix of UK manufacturing with Transport overtaking Chemicals/Pharmaceuticals to claim the top spot on R&D and being within touching distance of overtaking Food and Drink as the largest manufacturing sector.

The importance of the sum of manufacturing sectors is also reflected regionally, with the analysis showing that the average salary for manufacturing jobs is higher than for the regional economy average in every part of the UK apart from London where the City dominates.

Commenting, Ms Lee Hopley, chief economist at EEF, said: “Our latest data continue to show that UK manufacturing punches above its weight in some vital areas of the economy and contributes more than the sum of its parts. This is reflected regionally, in productivity and pay levels, for millions of people working in the sector.

“It provides an important reminder that we’re still one of the top ten biggest manufacturing nations and we want to see policy makers working with industry to help move UK manufacturing up the rankings.”

Paul Brooks, UK head of manufacturing, Santander Corporate & Commercial, commented: “The research reinforces how important the manufacturing sector is to the UK and demonstrates that Britain is at the forefront of technological change. UK is a strong exporter of goods with nearly half of all our international trade generated by the manufacturing sector. We are also delighted to see manufacturing output spread regionally across the UK with a thriving North West. Santander is committed to supporting British companies expand internationally and the manufacturing sector has a number of opportunities for growth both at home and abroad.”

Further analysis in the fact card shows export performance remains solid with manufacturing accounting for 45% of UK exports. Whilst the United States is the single biggest destination for manufactured exports (£43,1bn) the EU continues to dominate the overall picture with seven of the top 10 destinations for UK exports being in the European Union, the other two exceptions being China and the UAE.

According to EEF this highlights the vital need to ensure there is minimal disruption to trade with the EU after Brexit given geography still dominates when it comes to export growth.

By Region the North West is the biggest single Region by output, as well as being the Region seeing the biggest growth in output since the 2017/18 fact card, up to £26.9bn from £24.2bn. The West Midlands has also seen significant output growth during the same period. By Region manufacturing in the North West is the most productive whilst East Midlands is the least.

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Navigating Brexit: Migration minefield report 23/05/2018

EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation warns that nearly half of the UK’s manufacturers remain concerned about their ability to access skills post-Brexit, according to a new report.

The slump in job applications from the EU has slowed since last year, but 17%% of companies saw a drop in applications from European citizens. In addition, a further 13% of manufacturers still report an increase in EU workers leaving their businesses. Many of those employees are returning to the EU permanently, with companies struggling to recruit suitably skilled staff in the UK.

The report, 'Navigating Brexit: The Migration Minefield' published by EEF, The manufacturers’ organisation and global law firm Squire Patton Boggs, calls on government to move swiftly to give companies and their workforce increased clarity over the future of EU citizens working in the UK to stem the outward flow.

Proper guidance for EU workers seeking settled status would do much to mitigate this problem, according to the report. Four in ten (39%) of manufacturers need support in understanding the ways to support EU employees to gain residency/settled status and 68% want guidance on what the changes after March 2019 will mean for employers and their EU employees.

In an attempt to stem the growing skills issue, companies are taking steps to hold onto older workers with specialist skills, with 16% having implemented or are currently implementing such policies.

Nearly half (47%) of those manufacturers questioned are also increasing training programmes for all existing employees with 37% increasing apprenticeship and/or graduate recruitment programmes. Improving pay and benefits packages is the route taken by 20% of companies in order to attract and retain staff for longer and 21% are accelerating plans for automation.

Posting workers to the Europe, even for a short time, will become more complex after March next year, when Britain officially leaves the European Union. This may come as a shock to the almost three-quarters (71%) of manufacturers regularly sending employees to other EU member states,

Even a simple trip, such as attending a trade fair or exhibition for a day, which 57% of manufacturers say have done in the past 3 years counts as an official “posting”. A quarter (24%) of companies polled for the report are posting workers for servicing and repair as part of ongoing contracts with customers across Europe and over half (52%) sending employees to Europe for sales and marking purposes

Tim Thomas, Director of Skills and Employment Policy at EEF said:

“Skills shortages are endemic in manufacturing and engineering and companies are becoming increasingly concerned about their ability to access the skills they need post-Brexit. While the slump in job applications from the EU has slowed, there is still much to be done to make sure UK businesses are still able to attract the very best talent from Europe over the coming months as we proceed towards our exit from the EU as well as retaining that talent after Britain leaves the EU.”

On posting of workers, Tim Thomas added:

“Many companies do not realise that sending a member of staff to the EU to attend a conference or trade show involves the same posting mechanism as sending someone to the EU for a month or more. The government must deliver a good trade deal which lets businesses travel into the EU for short term posting as a matter of urgency. This is particularly important in terms of servicing and repair work which are tied into most contracts as well as having the ability to attend trade fairs and market new products and services to sell into EU markets.”

Annabel Mace, Partner and Head of Immigration at Squire Patton Boggs, added:

“The UK Government should indicate now that a light-touch post-Brexit immigration policy for EU citizens will be introduced and without mirroring the cost and complexity associated with the Points Based System for non-EU workers. With less than two years to go before the end of the proposed transition period and the possibility that a new immigration system may take at least another year to be decided on, let alone implemented, it is difficult for manufacturers who rely on EU workers of all skill levels to make meaningful contingency plans.”

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