According to Mike Matthews, managing director of Stockton-based Nifco UK: “Skills are paramount to this sector and we need to do all that we can to feed the sector with the most highly-prized people possible. We need to attract people with the ambition, talent and drive to step up to the plate and spearhead the successful businesses that leaders of today are building.”
Mike, himself a former apprentice, says that businesses in the North East must invest now if the sector is to continue to flourish in the future.
“It is easy to think in the short and medium term, but if the success we have seen in automotive is to be sustainable, it is vital that business leaders make a commitment to the future too,” he comments.
“We need to ensure that we have the right skills across every part of the business, from apprentices and graduates to experienced staff who understand what good leadership is and looks like. Investing in training up front, and on an ongoing basis is critical and will ensure there is natural succession as older people in our businesses reach retirement age.
“It is this approach that I think has allowed Nifco to grow so well since the difficult times of 2004, and it is what I believe all businesses need to do, to ensure we have a world-class automotive industry in the North East long into the future.”