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RIDDOR Regulations 1995 Change – 6 April 2012

From 6 April 2012, subject to Parliamentary approval, RIDDOR’s over three day injury reporting requirement will change. From then the trigger point will increase from over three days’ to over seven days’ incapacitation (not counting the day on which the accident happened).

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Mid-sized firms to spearhead UK export drive

The first-ever UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) trade visit to focus exclusively on the opportunities for MSBs in an emerging market.This is one of a number of actions to unlock growth among the UK’s 10,000 mid-sized businesses. They have been described as a “forgotten army” of businesses, yet they account for one fifth of the private sector.

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A new national programme launched to help SMEs

A new national programme which will focus on helping small and medium manufacturing businesses to grow has officially launched, Business Minister Mark Prisk and the Manufacturing Advisory Consortium (MAC) announced recently.

The new Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) is now available to all manufacturing businesses across England. It will be delivered by the MAC, which is comprised of Grant Thornton, Pera, WM Manufacturing Consortium Ltd and SWMAS Ltd. It has been estimated that the new MAS will help to generate £1.5 billion in economic growth, 23,000 jobs and safeguard 50,000 jobs.

Businesses interested in finding out more about the programme can find out more by visiting www.mymas.org or by calling an advisor on 0845 658 9600.

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New intellectual property support for SMEs

The package forms part of the Government’s Innovation and Research Strategy for Growth, which has been published today. It sets out plans to boost growth through substantial investment in research and innovation across the UK.

 Key actions announced today by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) include:

  •  A new online business advisor training tool that will give advisors the skills and information they need to help businesses protect the value of their intellectual property.
  • An online register of advisors to help businesses find the right advisor for them quickly and easily.
  • Consulting businesses, business advisors and IP specialists about how lower cost IP legal and commercial advice can be provided.
  • Offering free intellectual property audits to businesses through routes such as the Technology Strategy Board.
  • Enhancing existing schemes such as mediation to provide a more efficient dispute resolution service that can prevent potentially costly legal cases.
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Apprenticeships: Cable guarantees quality, slashes red tape and delivers cash boost for firms

Business Secretary Vince Cable today announced new measures to ensure more young people benefit from an apprenticeship, and to help employers gain the skilled workers they need to grow.

As part of the Government’s plan for growth, Ministers are taking action to make it easier for companies to take on apprentices, and ensure that the quality of apprenticeships is continually improved. He told businesses in Londonrecently that the Government would slash the red tape that can deter hard pressed firms from taking on apprentices, and provide a financial incentive to help the smallest firms recruit their first young apprentices.

The following measures to further strengthen the UK’s world class apprenticeships programme were recently announced:

· To encourage thousands of small firms that don’t currently hire apprentices to take on a young apprentice aged 16 to 24, the Government will offer employers with up to 50 employees an incentive payment of up to £1,500. This will support up to 20,000 new apprenticeships in 2012/13. An initial payment will be made two months after the individual has started their apprenticeship; the balance will be paid after the apprenticeship has been completed and the trainee has progressed into sustainable employment.

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Government funds manufacturing research in drive for future growth

The UK’s ability to stay at the forefront of world-class manufacturing received a boost of over £170 million today as the Government announced a package to drive future growth.

A high value manufacturing technology and innovation centre will receive over £140 million over a six year period and is open for business.

The centre is formed from seven research and technology facilities from across the country. It will help to kick-start a sustained manufacturing revival by commercialising science – taking ideas from the drawing board to help make them into real products.

The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) will run a competition of nearly £18 million, Technology Inspired Innovation, to fund products inspired by new discoveries and breakthroughs, such as advanced materials, biosciences and nanoscale technologies.

The TSB and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) will also be running a £15 million competition for investment into the research and development of low carbon vehicles.

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New help for manufacturers could generate £1.5bn growth and create 23,000 jobs

The new service will be delivered by the Manufacturing Advisory Consortium (MAC) and will help create an estimated £1.5bn in economic growth, 23,000 jobs and safeguard 50,000 jobs.

The Manufacturing Advisory Service will continue to deliver a national service to all manufacturing businesses in England but the new consortium now means that there will be a specific focus on:

  • driving business growth through strategic and technical support for SMEs developing advanced manufacturing capabilities and creating high value jobs
  • enabling business improvement with manufacturers operating in global supply chains; and
  • linking SMEs with the apprenticeship programme delivering a minimum of 1,250 engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships annually.
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Government introduces deregulatory measures

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mark Hoban MP, has announced that two deregulatory amendments to the EU Prospectus Directive have been brought into effect a year early by the UK to help small businesses access equity finance more cheaply and effectively. By bringing these measures into force now, the Government is demonstrating its commitment to helping small UK businesses access the finance they need, in an announcement welcomed by the Federation of Small Businesses. The new requirements come into law on 31 July 2011, allowing businesses to take advantage of the measures from 1 August 2011.

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Sweeping intellectual property reforms

The Government today announced plans to support economic growth by modernising UK intellectual property laws. Ministers have accepted the recommendations made in an independent review which estimate a potential benefit to the UK economy of up to £7.9 billion.

 The recommendations were made in May 2011 by Professor Ian Hargreaves in his report, – ‘Digital Opportunity: A review of intellectual property and growth’. Modernising intellectual property law is a key action from the Government’s Plan for Growth, published in March alongside the Budget, which will help create the right conditions for businesses to invest, grow and create jobs.

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