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MGS Plastics – They aren’t just great at moulding plastic!

Established in 1974, MGS Technical Plastics is a family owned plastic injection moulding company that places as much emphasis on people as it does parts and for good reason. This combination of technical skill and precision alongside a flexible, human approach enables them to achieve optimum performance levels and maximise value for their customers.

Their facility in Blackburn includes highly trained moulding technicians, toolmakers, quality engineers and multi-skilled operatives as well as the latest machinery, robotics and technologies. Together this allows them to produce exceptional components for a range of industries, including Automotive, Energy and technology, Hygiene, Leisure & Household, Chemical, Oil & Gas

With a turnover of £7m, MGS plans to reach a target of £10m by 2020. They will achieve this target through considered investment in: an ERP system, new mould machinery, and by bolstering key areas of technical support in order to attract new customers and to expand the services they can offer to their client base.

Valuing employees is not policy driven but is derived from a strong moral code, all of which results in a company that values the needs of customers and employees equally.

Why Invest in Apprenticeships?

John Sturgess, Managing Director, and Neil Garrity, Operations Director are extremely proud of the fact their Senior Leadership Team has grown over the last 2 years allowing them to welcome Mark Preston, Sales Director; Judson Smythe, Technical Director and Glenn Cooper; Non-Executive Director.

What makes MGS even more special is that 10% of their workforce are Apprentices. What makes them unique is that all five Directors were apprentices themselves.

Apprenticeships are at the core of MGS.  John Sturgess (MD) states ‘We love to develop young talent into highly productive experts. Every one of the Directors at MGS started life as an apprentice. The question shouldn’t be ‘why employ apprentices?’ the question is “why wouldn’t you?”

The enthusiasm is evident throughout the business and all employees embrace and celebrate their Apprentices. Andrew Greenwood, Production Team Leader believes they “have had the perfect opportunity to invest in the future of the company by giving an opportunity to members of staff to further improve their current skills and progress in their career”

Currently, they have 6 Apprentices being trained across all departments, with all of the workforce supporting and encouraging the learning. The Apprentices are following courses in:

  • Team Leader (Level 3)
  • EAL Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering – Toolmaker and Tool & Die maintenance Technician (Level 3)
  • EAL Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering – Mechatronic Maintenance Technician (Level 3)
  • PIABC Diploma in Polymer Processing (Level 3)
  • PIABC Diploma in Polymer Processing (Level 3)

What do the apprentices think of their time at MGS? Two of the apprentices share their thoughts on working at MGS:

“They always treat people with respect and offer a lot of training opportunities, including apprenticeships. We are able to work on different projects providing a variety to everyday and everyone has a positive attitude towards their work. Cheesy as it sounds ‘teamwork makes the dream work’ is true at MGS” – Simon Glasson, Team Leader Apprentice.

“Working at MGS allows you to experience new opportunities for training, such as First Aid and Leadership Courses. You are encouraged to further your skills in a supporting environment” – Glenn Miller, Team Leader Apprentice.

MGS have an excellent relationship with training providers, Training 2000 and Solutions4polymers, and are delighted with the standard of the learning and support, both they and their apprentices, get from the training providers.

Aside from Apprenticeships, the company offers all of its team the opportunity for personal and professional development. Recently they delivered a series of courses on Leadership and Mental Health.

Future Plans

MGS plan to build on their fantastic record in Apprenticeships and will continue to support and develop their current and existing workforce.  They have had great interest from other companies about their apprenticeships and are planning to host an open day. This and any future events will be advertised on the events page on the NAA website.

They are also keen to look into their Apprenticeships becoming Ambassadors and without doubt they will continue to be one of the best companies in Lancashire for their People and Talent Management.

MGS has a staff retention level that is the envy of other companies in their sector. They are proud of creating a safe and secure environment that empowers and leads in equal measure. This extends beyond company walls to their local community. Employees at all levels support and champion local charities and projects, their sense of responsibility is not limited to the operations within the factory.

John Sturgess (MD) is chair of the Darwen Town Centre Partnership, a local group steering economic regeneration and community prosperity and MGS Technical Plastics sponsor the Blackburn Road Runners’ Winter Warmer 10km – some of their employees even take part – and the Blackburn with Darwen Good Neighbour Awards. They also support Nightsafe, a local charity that provides services to homeless people aged 16 to 24

Investing in England's North West - European Regional Development Fund
Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham