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Manufacturing strengthening

The MTA's latest industry survey shows growing confidence in the market and another monthly rise in order intake. But it is too early to say that the worst is over. The upbeat news comes the day after the Chancellor delivered his pre-budget report - which had precious little cheer for manufacturing.
The sector"s net order intake has risen, but is still lower than a year ago. Invoiced sales are also showing a month on month increase, all signs that engineering based manufacturing is on the way to economic recovery. As a result of the brighter economic picture business confidence is also rising, with more companies in the sector reporting an increase in enquiries and a positive outlook - confidence is at a 5 month high according to the current survey results. The sector will disappointed though, at the news that Capital Allowances of 40% are to be cancelled in March 2010. That will hit the affordability of industrial equipment and hamper investment.
Employment levels still appear negative but there are still positive signs to report with most companies responding with 'no change’ at present compared to previous months which saw a number of job cuts. The outlook for jobs will not be helped by the news the National Insurance Contributions are to rise again, albeit not till 2011.

A new paper released today by EngineeringUK finds Engineering and Technology graduates to be highly employable, with 94.3% in work three years after graduation, second only to medicine and dentistry. The paper finds that the median salary for engineering and technology graduates three years on is £28,000, with only medicine, dentistry and veterinary science edging ahead. Contrary to popular belief, it also reveals that 74% of engineering and technology graduates who enter employment, go into in Engineering and Technology related occupations.
The paper, entitled, 'Where Do Engineering Graduates Go?' also reveals that one third  of engineering and technology applications in 2007/08 were from non UK domiciled students, up five percentage points since 2001/02 when 28% of applicants were from non UK domiciles. This is approximately double the   proportion of overseas applicants  across all subjects, with the average being 15%. This long term rising trend of increasing engineering applications  from outside the UK is particularly prominent at higher degree level, where only 27.2% are UK domiciled compared to 44.9 % across all subjects.
Paul Jackson, chief executive of EngineeringUK, said:
"Whilst numbers of engineering graduates continue to increase due to strong employability and salary levels, there remains a rising trend in overseas engineering applications compared to home students. The implications for UK the business and education systems are as yet undetermined but we must work together to investigate this trend and its potential effect on the UK"s technological competitiveness. We need to make sure we create a sustainable UK engineering workforce, as well as a strong international one.”  To view the full paper visit:

One of the Institution of Engineering and Technology's (IET) top honours, the Honorary Fellowship has been awarded to Mme Deng Nan. Honorary Fellowship is given to persons distinguished by their work in any engineering discipline or whom the IET desires to honour for services rendered.
Mme Deng Nan"s election as an Honorary Fellow is in recognition of her leadership and outstanding contribution to engineering.
Mme Deng is currently Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Secretary of the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), the largest national non-government organisation for science and technological workers in China.  The IET and CAST share a similar vision and mission, and Mme Deng has played a leading role in developing and maintaining the relationship between the two bodies.
On receiving the fellowship Mme Deng said: "It's my great honour to receive the Honorary Fellowship of IET. CAST would like to further strengthen the ties between the engineering communities in China and the UK by working together with IET. ”

The January cut-offs in gas supply to industry have been highlighted as the first signs that energy shortages are now beginning to translate into energy interruptions.


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