Engineering Network Event Makes Successful Connections

By Anita Jaynes on December 7, 2013

Engineering Innovation Network South West, (EIN-SW) in conjunction with Wiltshire Enterprise, hosted a breakfast event “Engineering People…Manufacturing Success’ on Friday, December 6, at Lackham House, part of the Wiltshire College Lackham campus.

Local engineers and manufacturers were treated to an early morning breakfast roll prior to a warm welcome from Ben Allen, Wiltshire College Vice Principal for Business Development. Ben talked about the new proposed redevelopment of the Chippenham campus and the engineering facilities that will form part of the new building. He encouraged guests to come forward with their thoughts on the type of courses that the new campus could look at providing for their business.

Ben was followed by key note speakers: Stefan Barbaruk from the Wessex Chamber of Commerce, Steve Stone from the Wiltshire and Swindon Local Economic Partnership, Steven Nicholson from the National Apprenticeship Service, Haydn Earl from Engineering Innovation Network South West (EIN-SW), Andrew Phillips and Ben Powis from the Manufacturing Advisory Service and Alan Longland from Longland Green Ltd.

Guest speakers spoke on industry specific topics such as Getting Your Product to Market, Funding Opportunities for SMEs and Understanding Higher Apprenticeships, as well as talks from support networks such as Wessex Chambers of Commerce and EIN-SW.

The event climaxed with an invitation to guests to take part in four workshop sessions:  Manufacturing; Funding and Innovation; Apprenticeships; R&D Tax Credits and Intellectual Property, which enabled them to share their experiences and gather more in depth information from their workshop hosts during the short 20 minute sessions.

Alan Longland from Longland Green Ltd commented: “I was really impressed by the event. It was a really good turn out by real engineering people and I witnessed some extremely encouraging and supportive comments.”

The Wiltshire Enterprise team hope to build on the event by forming an engineering Industrial Liaison Committee for Wiltshire. Ben Allen said: “This has been a great event which we plan to build on in future by creating a partnership with local engineering businesses. This will enable us to support them in building the engineering skills they need to move their business forward.”