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Charlotte Stonestreet

The push-pull of recovery


THE LATEST UK Manufacturing PMI shows that, while rates of expansion in output and new orders have slowed from June, July has seen the upturn continue with robust sales to both domestic and export clients.

Charlotte Stonestreet

Digital and IT skills: Whole-career approach needed


EARLIER THIS year, research from UK think Tank, the Learning & Work Institute revealed that the number of students taking IT subjects at GCSE has dropped by a 40% since 2015. Against a background where the industrial sector skills-shortage has been long acknowledged, this is particularly vexing. Within industry, there are many organisations, companies and individuals making a huge effort to encourage young people into STEM careers - but the message just doesn’t seem to be filtering down to secondary school level.

Charlotte Stonestreet

Everyone can make a difference


For those of you old enough to remember the 1980s sitcom ‘Yes Minister’, I’m sure that much of the satire still rings true today. One particular scene sees two civil servants outline how to approach political problems thus: Stage one, we say nothing is going to happen; Stage two, we say something may be about to happen, but we should do nothing about it; Stage three, we say that maybe we should do something about it, but there’s nothing we can do; Stage four, we say maybe there was something we could have done, but it’s too late now.

Charlotte Stonestreet

Testing times


AS I write, the UK is in its third period of full lockdown due to COVID-19, new variants of the virus are emerging and many businesses are of course feeling the pressure. Many, including myself and my colleagues on the IPE team, are able to work very effectively from home, however, this is not the case for everyone. In addition to the most obvious front-line workers, staff whose roles cannot be carried out from home continue to work across the manufacturing, industrial and distribution sectors. Workplaces have been adapted to accommodate social distancing and PPE has become a part of daily life.

IPE Editor

2020 ends on a positive of sorts


One way or another 2020 is a year that none of us is going to forget in a hurry. For the manufacturing sector, while Brexit dominated the first couple of months, it was soon to be overshadowed by COVID-19. Furlough, lockdown and social distancing became part of the vernacular and businesses tried, with varying degrees of success, to adjust to the ‘new normal’.

Charlotte Stonestreet

The future's bright, the future's green


Remember life before Covid-19? Sometimes when I think about the enormity of the global pandemic, the considerations and goals of 2019 seem like a lifetime away. However, the important issues have not gone away, they have just been temporarily overshadowed, and in many cases are already starting to emerge back into the headlines and as a result, people’s consciousness.

Schneider Electric Industries SAS

AI – changing industry as we know it


Today, it’s widely understood that technological investment brings success. Manufacturers who choose to modernise will gain increased outputs, higher quality and less wastage on the factory floor – ultimately allowing them to improve profitability and succeed in the industry.

IPE Editor

Industry lows & highs


In the week that saw figures released confirming a record fall in GDP of 20.4% in April, and the Make UK/BDO Manufacturing Outlook Q2 survey showing the balance for output reached the lowest level in the survey’s thirty year history, UK industry has undoubtedly been taken to its foundations by the coronavirus pandemic.


MACH 2021 will provide vital stimulus to manufacturing industry


In my last column in this magazine I wrote about how we had had to postpone MACH 2020 until January next year due to the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic and the need to go into lockdown.


MACH exhibition rescheduled for 2021


I had planned to sit down to write this month’s column to preview MACH 2020, which was due take place during April. But, like everyone’s plans across the world, ours have had to change and adapt due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.