SEAT: committed to production worker safety
Furthering the automotive manufacturers commitments to the health of its employees, SEAT has announced new measures to effectively protect its workers from COVID-19. This will continue to be a top priority for SEAT in 2021.
Since 1 January, SEAT has conducted over 15,000 tests on employees, establishing a mass rapid testing plan that comes into effect today (28 January). As part of the plan, SEAT will test over 10,000 workers at all work centres twice a week for antigens, averaging 4,500 tests a day.
With these measures SEAT hopes to minimise the risk of an outbreak in the workplace as well as relieve the public health system.
“The health and safety of our employees is and always will be a priority at SEAT. In the most severe phase of the health crisis we demonstrated our commitment in this regard and implemented measures that have proven to be effective in controlling the virus. That is why we are convinced that continuing in this line of prevention, strictly complying with the recommended measures (facemasks, safety distance and hand hygiene), as well as carrying out mass testing, will help us to protect all those who form part of this company and of the Volkswagen Group in Spain,” commented Xavier Ros Vice-President for Human Resources and Organisation, SEAT.
SEAT’s three stage vaccination plan
In coordination with the Health Department of the Catalan Government, SEAT is working to vaccinate its workers as the availability of the COVID-19 vaccines increase. SEAT states that it has “expressed its willingness to the authorities to collaborate in different ways with the vaccination plan for the population and thus contribute to alleviating the burden on the public health system.”
In committing to these measures, SEAT further demonstrates its commitments to society and to combat the pandemic.
Did you know? In April 2020 SEAT manufactured over 600 emergency ventilators in record time using parts from the windscreen motors of its SEAT Leon model. The company also mobilised to manufacture surgical facemasks using filters from its paint shop at Martorell and donated US$171,807 to the #YoMeCorono project against COVID-19.
Specifically, SEAT’s three stage vaccination plan - without interfering with the authorities’ supply plans - will vaccinate all its healthcare staff in the first phase. In the second the company will aim to vaccinate all staff at risk and with greater exposure to the virus, before moving to mass vaccination in the final phase, and an opportunity for employees to participate voluntarily in a study of vaccines developed against COVID-19.
SEAT’s new medical centre
At its new meeting place - CASA SEAT - in Barcelona, SEAT has outlined plans to launch a new medical centre, which will be equipped with “a permanent medical service to attend to employees, visitors, exhibitors and workers from other Volkswagen Group companies located in the city.”
The new centre joins CARS Madrid, which was launched in 2020 and is the second SEAT CARS Health Care and Rehabilitation Centre established in partnership with Volkswagen Financial Services. The centre provides health care and prevention services to the 1,350 Volkswagen Group employees in Madrid.
IHS Markit/CIPS: UK Manufacturing PMI near-record high
UK manufacturing trends
For the UK manufacturing sector, growth of output and new orders were both reported by IHS Markit and CIPS as among the best seen over the past seven years, which in turn has led to a strong increase in employment. Despite this, the sector continues to face supply chain delays and input shortages, which resulted in increased purchasing costs and record selling price inflation.
UK Manufacturing IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®)
Seasonally adjusted, IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) rose to 60.9 in April, which was an increase compared to March (58.9) and above the estimated 60.7 for April.
Increasing for the eleventh consecutive month, the latest readings are the highest since July 1994 (61.0). The output growth for April has been attributed to the loosening of lockdown restrictions, improving demands and a rise in backlogged work.
“The manufacturing sector was flooded with optimism in April as the PMI rose to its highest level since July 1994, bolstered by strong levels of new orders and the end of lockdown restrictions opened the gates to business. It was primarily the home market that fuelled this upsurge in activity though more work from the US, Europe and China demonstrated there were also improvements in the global economy. This boom largely benefited corporates as output growth at small-scale producers continued to lag behind,” said Duncan Brock, Group Director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply.
In addition to expanding production, total new orders rose for its third consecutive month, which was attributed to a revival of domestic market conditions, stronger client confidence, parts of the economy reopening and improving global market conditions.
While new exports rose in April, the rate was reported as weaker in comparison to new orders. “Companies reported improved new work intakes from several trading partners, including mainland Europe, the US, China and South-East Asia. Large-sized manufacturers saw a substantial expansion in new export order intakes, compared to only a marginal rise at small-sized firms,” said IHS Markit/CIPS.
UK Manufacturing’s outlook
Remaining positive at the start of the second quarter, 66% of companies forecast that output will be higher in a year's time, which is attributed to expectations for less disruption related to COVID-19 and Brexit, economic recovery, improved client confidence and new product launches.
“Further loosening of COVID-19 restrictions at home and abroad led to another marked growth spurt at UK factories. The headline PMI rose to a near 27-year high, as output and new orders expanded at increased rates. The outlook for the sector is also increasingly positive, with two-thirds of manufacturers expecting output to be higher in one year’s time. Export growth remains relatively subdued, however, as small manufacturers struggle to export,” said Rob Dobson, Director at IHS Markit.
Adding to comments from IHS Markit and CIPS, , Managing Director of Freight and Logistics at Accenture Global said: “While today’s figures are positive overall, the worsening supply situation is still a concern, with rates of both input costs and selling price inflation running far above anything previously seen. Shipping delays and material shortages are driving huge backlogs of uncompleted work and the surge in manufacturing orders is leading to many firms struggling to boost operating capacity to keep up with demand. With business expectations becoming even more optimistic as the economy rebounds, the big question will be whether firms will be able to cope with the surging inflows of new orders.
“As ongoing supply chain issues are still at large, companies with wide international footprints should look to reassess their logistics strategies by running supply chain stress tests and simulations in order to respond quickly to upswings and variability in demand. A flexible and resilient supply chain will be a key way for businesses to remain both competitive and stable as we emerge from the pandemic”