Compliance & Precision News Round-Up - Issue 26
18th December 2013
This issue covers:
- Support for engineering employment
- Specialist tester lights the way to improved LED testing
- UKEA becomes ESCO Executive
- Gambica survey highlights manufacturing support
Almost £49 million is being made available by the UK Government to help encourage and train more engineers.
It comes as chief scientific adviser to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Professor John Perkins published an analysis of engineering, which promotes action to inspire new people to join the industry and solve the current shortage in available skills.
Some £30 million of the money will fund employers next year to address specific shortages within engineering, while £18 million will be used for a new training facility within the Manufacturing Technology Centre, itself a part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult - a program which works with companies to encourage innovation and new technology.
Of the remaining money, £250,000 will support Tomorrow's Engineers for an employer engagement programme across the UK to inspire children, and £40,000 will be given to the Daphne Jackson Trust for new fellowships.
UK Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "Engineering has a vital role to play in the future of UK industry. It is important that we act now to ensure businesses have access to the skills they require to enable them to grow."
LED manufacturers can take advantage of the most advanced low power multi-function tester available, which provides power measurement of less than 1000W with a resolution of 200mW.
The new HAL LED from Clare delivers better resolution at low power to offer greater control of the output of products under test, ensuring improved accuracy and quality control standards during manufacturing.
Improved resolution at lower power allows a manufacturer to ensure that the quality control aspect of a functional test is within acceptable limits and the product is shipped with the knowledge that it is as efficient as expected.
Using the HAL LED, manufacturers can complete end of line tests with the additional benefit of full functionality testing of the operation of the equipment. It also enables users to meet the safety compliance requirements for the majority of standards BS EN 60598 which covers the safety of lighting equipment such as lamp holders, lights and fluorescent lights.
The latest HAL series variant meets the requirements of national and international product safety legislation, including the Low voltage Directive (LVD), and provides power/leakage, AC/DC Hipot (FLASH/Dielectric Strength), insulation and ground/earth bond test capability to ensure products are safety tested during design and manufacture.
The HAL LED also meets all of the requirements of the various British and European standards in relation to high voltage testing and incorporates fully isolated high voltage outputs to ensure the highest levels of operator safety.
The UK Electronics Alliance (UKEA), comprising the leading trade associations and other bodies representing the electronic systems community, is to change its name to the ESCO Executive.
The UKEA was formed in response to the DTI Electronics Innovation and Growth Team (EIGT) Report, published in 2005, to create a single body to represent the industry. Now, following the successful launch of the ESCO Report in June 2013, which highlighted the current value and importance of Electronic Systems to the UK economy, ESCO is the vehicle that brings together the entire UK Electronic Systems Community and, to reflect that, UKEA is renaming itself ESCO Executive.
In order to drive forward the strategic blueprint for the industry, based on the findings of the ESCO report, a new Industry Council has been established. The ESCO Council is co-chaired by Warren East, former CEO of ARM and Michael Fallon, Minister of State for Business and Energy, and action implementation will be supported by the ESCO Executive.
The ESCO Council is made up of senior representatives from the UK's Electronic Systems industry and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).
The ESCO Executive and the ESCO Council are already working together to implement the recommendations in the ESCO Report, which cover key areas including business and technology strategy, skills and supply chain development. For further information visit www.esco.org.uk
Gambica, the UK trade association for instrumentation, control, automation and laboratory technology has released the results of its recent Manufacturing Support Scheme Survey, highlighting the need to increase communications about the range of industry assistance available.
Gambica ran the survey with support from organisations such as the IET, EEF, IMechE and Intellect. The survey was conducted to gather accurate data and assess the level of awareness and uptake of 18 key manufacturing support services provided by UK Government. The 446 participants revealed an average index of 34% awareness of the schemes, whilst 16% of respondents were already using or considering using them.
The most popular schemes amongst those surveyed, 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.
More information about the survey and the schemes available can be found on the Gambica website at www.gambica.org.uk/ManufacturingSupport
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