New government support to save thousands of metalforming jobs – CBM

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak holds a press conference in Downing Street following his Winter Economy Plan statement to parliament
The Chancellor Rishi Sunak holds a press conference in Downing Street following his Winter Economy Plan statement to parliament

Thousands of jobs in the metalforming sector will be saved thanks to the latest coronavirus support announced by the chancellor Rishi Sunak.

This is according to the Confederation of British Metalforming (CBM), who represent over 200 companies involved in the manufacture of fasteners, forgings, pressings, cold-rolled and sheet metal products,

The trade body for the sector has welcomed Mr Sunak’s mixture of Job Support Scheme (JSS), extension of Business Support Loans and VAT deferrals as industry battles with falling volumes due to the pandemic.

According to its latest survey, 90% of its members had accessed the furlough scheme and, more importantly, 65% would change their mind on future redundancies if further assistance was in place.

The report painted a stark picture of current performance, with 88% of firms admitting that volumes had been hit by the pandemic and four fifths predicting their future sales forecast will be below average.

An overwhelming 90% of companies believe a stimulus package for certain sectors is needed, in order for the economy to recover to pre-Covid-19 levels.

Geraldine Bolton, chief executive office of Confederation of British Metalforming, commented: “A lot of our members are heavily involved in the automotive and aerospace sectors and these are two of the worst affected industries due to factory closures and the air travel falling off a cliff.

“The furlough scheme has been a great success, but the October deadline is fast approaching and our members are starting to plan for future staffing levels against the reality of sales they are expecting.”

She continued: “The Job Support Scheme will give them more time to look at new revenue streams, whilst providing flexibility to get people back into work at reduced hours.

“We have spent so long addressing skills shortages in our sector, the last thing firms need is to lose skilled people as it will hamper them in their longer-term recovery.”

CBM has been lobbying Government for the last four months about a reverse Job Retention Scheme that incentivises businesses to bring back staff in some capacity.

It had also been asking for a raft of other support measures to help the cashflow of viable companies hit by the pandemic and is happy that the requested VAT and Corporate Tax extensions have been put in place to give businesses a further 12 months to make payments.

CBM www.thecbm.co.uk

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