Manufacturing survey calls for support scheme awareness

gambica300A new survey conducted to gather accurate data and assess the level of awareness and uptake of 18 key manufacturing support services provided by Government has revealed that just one third of respondents were aware of the schemes.

The work, carried out by GAMBICA, the trade association for instrumentation, control, automation and laboratory technology in the UK, and supported by IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology)EEF (The Manufacturers’ Organisation), and IMechE (Institution of Mechanical Engineers) found that the most popular schemes, with 70% and 69% awareness respectively, were the Apprenticeship Service and the R&D Tax Credits. The schemes that manufacturers are least aware of are the Employer Ownership of Skills Pilot and TRS (Talent Retention Solution).

In terms of take up, 28% of those surveyed were already using the Apprenticeship Service for their company. Interestingly, the scheme to which most companies were signed up was the R&D Tax Credits, with almost a third of respondents confirming that they are involved in the scheme.

Steve Brambley (pictured), deputy director of GAMBICA, said: “Our aim was to create a survey that would be simple enough to complete but gather good evidence of awareness levels. The results indicate a wide spread of awareness levels of the different schemes, suggesting the need for specific targeted communication actions. The really positive outcome of the survey is that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is keen to work with GAMBICA and the other survey stakeholders in order to raise awareness and promote these essential support schemes.”

A forum chaired by BIS  will kick off in November to prioritise actions based on the results of the survey.

“GAMBICA and survey stakeholders like IET, EEF, IMechE and Intellect are invited to take part in the discussions,” added Brambley. “We are looking forward to putting our minds together and finding the best ways to communicate the benefits of different schemes to UK plc,” he said.

Copyright Ken Hurst 2013

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About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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