UK manufacturing output at its highest for 10 years

UK manufacturing output at its highest for 10 years

UK manufacturing output is expanding at its fastest rate since early 2008 after recording a seventh consecutive month of growth in November.

Renewable energy projects, boats, aeroplanes and cars for export helped make output 3.9% higher in the three months to November than in 2016.

Official figures also show industrial output rose by 0.4% in November.

Construction output in the three months to November fell by 2%, compared with the previous three months.

That was the industry’s biggest quarterly fall since August 2012, with the only bright spot for the sector being a 1.2% increase in new housing.

Graph of manufacturing output statistics

For the month of November, total production was estimated to have increased by 0.4% compared with the previous month, with the biggest contribution coming from energy supply.

This increased by 3.2%, mainly because the temperature was warmer than average in October, but colder than average in November.

Economic growth had slowed in the first nine months of 2017 with higher inflation caused by the fall in sterling after the Brexit referendum, although the UK economy did grow by 0.4% in the three months to September.

While the manufacturing figures are good, it is important to note that the sector only makes up roughly 10% of the economy.


Off-the-job qualifications can be included in apprenticeships

Off-the-job qualifications can be included in apprenticeships

At last off-the-job technical qualifications can now be included in apprenticeships, the Institute for Apprenticeships has officially announced, confirming a significant U-turn in the world of apprenticeships.

It is one of a number of reforms from the Institute of Apprenticeships to make the approval of new apprenticeship standards

Strict rules preventing the use of qualifications, such as technical certificates that show evidence of knowledge, have frustrated many across the sector for years.

But officials at the Institute, who have committed to improving process and policies, have now overturned them.


Last summer the rules were tightened to include a bar on allowing employer groups to submit a standard for approval if it includes a qualification that’s still in development. This ban has now been lifted.

Today’s addition means that where there is no mandatory qualification for an apprenticeship, an employer can use one “voluntarily” if the content “aligns with the standard and the employer pays the registration and certification fees”.

Also another significant change by the Institute of Apprenticeships will align the process for recommending funding bands to the timelines for approving proposals and end-point assessment plans, to “shorten the time a standard spends waiting for approval for delivery.

As a training provider we are looking forward to simpler guidance, clear templates, best practice examples, the use of videos and webinars


This should make life easier for employers, providers and organisations that have been impacted.