Jobs in the metalforming sector will be saved following the latest measures of Coronavirus support announced on September 24 by the chancellor, according to the sector’s trade body.
Representing over 200 companies, The Confederation of British Metalforming (CBM) has welcomed chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Job Support Scheme (JSS), an extension of Business Support Loans and VAT deferrals.
According to its latest survey, 90 per cent of its members had accessed the furlough scheme and 65 per cent would change their mind on future redundancies if further assistance were in place.
In the report 88 per cent of firms said volumes had been hit by the pandemic and four fifths predict their future sales forecast as below average. Ninety per cent of companies believe a stimulus package for certain sectors is needed for the economy to recover to pre-Covid19 levels.
In a statement, Geraldine Bolton, CEO of Confederation of British Metalforming, said: “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 lobbied government for the last four months about a reverse Job Retention Scheme that incentivises businesses to bring back staff in some capacity. It also asked for a raft of support measures to help the cashflow of viable companies.
“Coming to terms with Covid-19 is one thing, but it is also clear that our members are very worried about the impending spectre of Brexit and the increasingly likely reality of a ‘no deal,” said Steve Morley, president of the Confederation of British Metalforming.
“58 per cent of companies in our sector feel leaving the EU will have a detrimental effect on their business and, importantly, more than half would like to see an extension to negotiations.”
He concluded: “The message is clear…leaving without a deal should not be an option. It would have been a testing time for business in a normal world, let alone one that has been turned upside down by the pandemic.”