Clearview South March 2014 - Issue 148 - Page 84

businessNEWS IMF raises UK economic growth forecast The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has sharply increased its growth forecast for the UK economy. It now expects the economy to grow 2.4% this year - faster than any other major European economy - against its previous forecast of 1.9%. In 2015, it expects growth of 2.2%. The IMF also raised its global growth outlook slightly to 3.7%. “Global growth is expected to increase in 2014 after having been stuck in a low gear in 2013,” the IMF said in its report. The world’s largest economy, the US, is expected to grow by 2.8% this year, an improvement on the previous estimate of 2.6% that the IMF made in October. It expects the euro area as a whole to grow by 1%. “The euro area is turning a corner from recession to recovery,” the IMF said. However, it added the pickup would be weaker in economies that have been facing “financial stress”, namely Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Italy and Portugal. The IMF also upgraded its forecast for the Chinese economy to 7.5% this year. But it also warned that “strengthening global growth does not mean that the global economy is out of the woods”. It said governments in advanced economies must not withdraw measures to support growth prematurely. Christine Lagarde, the IMF managing director, has previously expressed concerns about growth levels in the UK economy in light of the government’s austerity drive, which is designed to reduce debt levels. But the IMF upgraded its forecast for the UK in 2014 by more than for any other economy. It also raised its forecast for growth in 2015 to 2.2%. “[The IMF] report provides further evidence that the government’s long term economic plan is working,” said a Treasury spokesperson. But Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said: “After three damaging years of flatlining, any growth is both welcome and long overdue. “With business investment still weak and the IMF forecasting that UK growth will slow down again next year, it’s clear that this is not yet a recovery that is built to last.” TOTAL GLASS CELEBRATES ‘ABSOLUTE’ TRAINING SUCCESS Liverpool-based Total Glass Ltd is celebrating the success of 31 employees who achieved their GQA level 2 NVQ certificate in the Fabrication of Glass Supporting Structures (QCF) in partnership with Absolute Training Solutions Ltd. Representing nearly 17% of the 185-strong workforce, the company is one of the biggestever groups to have gained workplace qualifications in one year at the award-winning uPVC and aluminium fabricator. Total Group Managing Director Frank Deary praised their success saying: “As part of our serious commitment to staff training, we 84 MAR 2014 encourage all our employees to participate in skills programmes that lead to industry-recognised qualifications. Their hard work and dedication is a credit to themselves and the company.” Michael Hurst, HSEQ Manager at Total Glass, explained that two-thirds of the NVQ group were new employees, mostly with previous window industry experience with several having also joined after leaving the Armed Forces. “All, including our existing employees, have shown a strong interest in pursuing these qualifications. Investing in training helps us to stay ahead of the competition through more motivated staff as well as increased productivity and efficiency,” he added. Mike Smith (NVQ Assessor at Absolute Training Solutions Ltd, who resenting the certificates to Total Glass Ltd, said: “Total Glass Ltd is an ideal Employer as their commitment to training and to the GQA QCF qualifications has made them a pleasure to work with”. “A special mention must go to Diane Newton as she was the ideal candida H[