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Business & Economy

Skills drive accelerates growth at ElringKlinger

A North East global automotive supplier has kickstarted the next phase of an ambitious growth plan with the extension of a training scheme to upskill its workforce.

In 2016 Redcar-based ElringKlinger (GB) announced it was making a significant investment in a training programme for its staff – part of a strategy to double the size of the business by 2020.

Delivered in partnership by Gateshead College and Amacus, the programme includes leadership and management training, Performing Manufacturing Operations (PMO) apprenticeships and bespoke training to develop and upskill senior operatives.

Forty-five staff have completed their apprenticeship and the company recognised their success at a recent celebration ceremony. Other staff are nearing completion of a level 5 leadership and management programme designed to equip them with higher level skills and attributes.

Phase two of the PMO programme has already commenced, with another 26 employees developing further skills that will provide essential skills and knowledge of how to work safely and effectively on the shop floor.

The company is committed to upskilling the current workforce and continuing to recruit skilled operatives who can serve a pipeline of new work, including a £5m contract to build catalyst and exhaust heat shields for car giant Ford’s latest engines.

Ian Malcolm, managing director at ElringKlinger (GB), said: “It’s great to be working with Amacus and Gateshead College on this large-scale, company-wide training programme. Developing talent is crucial to our expansion and includes the upskilling of existing staff and recruitment of new people with the right aptitudes and knowledge of our industry.

“Last year we grew annual revenues to more than £30m and, as new work comes in, we need to ensure we have the skills to complete it to our usual high standard. The training programme enables us to achieve this. It is tailored specifically to our business goals and carried out onsite with minimal disruption to our day-to-day operations.”

Christine Hall, managing director at Amacus – a specialist in leadership and management training – said: “We have a strong track record in helping businesses such as ElringKlinger build their skills base so they can remain strong, productive and competitive. It’s encouraging to see so many businesses value skills development and both Amacus and Gateshead College are playing a major role in helping key industry sectors improve their performance and tackle key skills shortages.

“We are thrilled to be working with ElringKlinger to deliver a training solution that will ultimately benefit the wider automotive industry – a key driver of economic growth in this region.”

Formed in 2003, Amacus is a subsidiary of Gateshead College and operates throughout the North East of England with offices in Hartlepool, Bishop Auckland, Middlesbrough and Stockton. Working in partnership with Gateshead College enables both organisations to provide a strong training offer to dozens of employers across the region.

Zac Aldridge, assistant principal, curriculum Gateshead College, said: “Bringing our specialist expertise together enables us to combine the college’s wide-ranging vocational training programmes together with Amacus’ quality courses in leadership and management & employability. Together we create customised workforce development packages that are helping companies acquire the skills they need to support their business performance.”