Kevin Parkin, MD Davy Markham Ltd, who retired as Chairman of the British Manufacturing Plant Constructors’ Association (BMPCA), in mid October, told the 101 attendees of the BMPCA Annual Luncheon in London, that more young people needed to be attracted back into manufacturing industry.

As an example, Davy Markham had launched ‘WorkWise’, jointly with the Business Education South Yorkshire, that has introduced 14 to 16 year olds to the real industrial experience and understanding how business really works.
Business plans for the coming financial year were difficult to draw up as economic forecasts were unreliable and the recent government spending review has fuelled speculation of a fall in consumer demand. Car sales, however, remain buoyant enabling investment, for example, in Jaguar Landrover, now owned by the Indian Tata Group.
Mick Holloway Senior Sales Manager Sheffield Forgemasters Engineering Ltd took over the Chair to serve for the usual two-year period. Mr Holloway said that there were at last signs of ‘green shoots’ in the economy as business was returning. SFE would review the options to install a 15000t forging press again in early 2011, a component essential for the production of the large forgings needed for Nuclear Power industry builds. Finance for the press had been agreed by the previous Labour Government but cancelled when the present Conservative/ Liberal Democrat government came to power.
Terry Scuoler, CEO EEF The Manufacturers’ Association, was the Guest Speaker. He underlined an expected 3.5% recovery taking place in manufacturing in 2010 but forecast a slight slowing in 2011 to 3.2%, but this contrasts well with the 14.8% fall experienced in 2009. There was also a positive balance in investment but this remains 10% below the September 2008 figure. Credit remains tight and the recoveries in North America and Germany also remain weak.
The October Government Expenditure Review had not been as hard as feared on science and engineering and plans to spend £60M on infrastructure could help industries such as steel – with each wind turbine, for example, requiring 60 – 100t of steel, but the impact of the carbon tax on high emitters was still uncertain.
The BMPCA has a membership of 13 UK companies, three of which are subsidiaries of international groups. It serves as a forum to identify common opportunities and devise strategies for maximising the benefit from these and acts as a united body to implement such strategies.
BMPCA, c/o EEF, Broadway House, Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NQ, England Tel +44 (0) 1709 362 288 e-mail rruddlestone@eef.org.uk