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Why you should enter for the 2015 NAA Awards – from the 2014 Outreach Award winners, Vauxhall Motors and Sigmatex, and the Award sponsor, Festo

“Organisations wishing to be recognised for their achievements, from Outreach to Innovation, should strongly consider applying for the NAA Awards this year – it is a fantastic way of reflecting on achievements and challenges that have been overcome and a way of sharing this within the organisation as well as with external customers and suppliers.” Helen Symonds, HR and HS Manager, Sigmatex UK…

Why you should enter for the 2015 NAA Awards – by Helen Symonds, HR and HS Manager, Sigmatex UK – winner of the 2014 NAA Outreach in the Community Award

The staff at Sigmatex were delighted when they won the ‘Outreach in the Community’ Award at the NAA Annual Award Ceremony last November. This was a wonderful recognition of the efforts that have been put in to the various activities that the Sigmatex team has been supporting and it has spurred the team on to continue its work. This recognition has also had a positive impact on staff engagement and the sense of doing something good for the community whilst strengthening relationships internally. The team are very proud of this achievement and were delighted to receive the award at such a high profile event as the NAA Annual Awards Ceremony.

To win the funded training at Festo from the Award Sponsor was an added bonus and has helped support staff training as part of our Lean journey.

Outreach work continues and current activities involve participation in the Industrial Cadets Programme under the STEM umbrella which encourages children at primary school age and options age to consider a career in science and engineering.

Organisations wishing to be recognised for their achievements, from Outreach to Innovation, should strongly consider applying for the NAA Awards this year – it is a fantastic way of reflecting on achievements and challenges that have been overcome and a way of sharing this within the organisation as well as with external customers and suppliers.

Helen Symonds, HR and HS Manager, Sigmatex UK

Why you should enter for the 2015 NAA Awards – by Rachel Borland, Organisational Development Advisor, General Motors UK & Ireland

Vauxhall Motors was truly honoured to receive the Northwest Automotive Alliance Community Outreach Award in November 2014.

For us, it was fantastic recognition of our ongoing work with, and commitment to, our local community. Over recent years, we have worked tirelessly to increase skills, change traditional perceptions of the manufacturing environment, to promote the industry and the many career opportunities within it, with a view to safeguarding not only Vauxhall’s future, but the future of the automotive manufacturing industry in the UK.

Whether it’s talking directly to local schoolchildren, employing Apprentices each year, running careers events, encouraging employees to take one day paid leave to support a community project of their choice, up-skilling existing employees or offering pre-employability training to potential new hires, we have placed ‘people’ firmly at the centre of our UK-wide business plans, and have truly recognised the need to build and strengthen links with the community, specifically young people.

As a local employer and manufacturer, we recognise that we leave a footprint in our community – we impact and influence it every day. Therefore, it’s essential that all organisations consider the community as not only a customer but also a stakeholder in the business. If your organisation already holds the community at the heart of all you do then we would encourage you to apply for the Outreach Award. You could be the 2015 prize winner!

Rachel Borland, Organisational Development Advisor, General Motors UK & Ireland

Why you should enter for the 2015 NAA Awards – by Andy Graveson, National Team Manager – Automotive Industry, Festo

Festo has been privileged to support the NAA Community Outreach Award from its inception two years ago. Why we did it was an easy decision. Talking to business leaders there is one message that stands out – we need to attract more young people into manufacturing.

We need to retain our skilled people and building their skills so they can be engaged within our changing businesses and be empowered to make their valuable contribution in the future. We need the right people with the right skills and the right attitude for work that will ensure we can sustain growth in each of our businesses and in Manufacturing UK Ltd. With employment in manufacturing production jobs forecast to expand in the coming years by over 15% to support our record vehicle production levels, plus the re-shoring of component parts for automotive to increase from 35% to 40%, there are real challenges for all of us.

Reaching out and playing our part within the wider community isn’t just a part of our corporate responsibility, it is essential to our futures. I believe by entering your company into the Community Outreach Awards you are able to hold your company up as a beacon, not only reflecting positively on your role, but showing others how it can be done.

Festo rises to this challenge by looking beyond our world of automation, extending into training and development in schools, higher education and industry. Festo supplies a massive range of training equipment and materials, additionally we train over 40,000 engineers every year to be better prepared to work in an automated production environment and contribute to their organisation, management and soft skills development.

Sigmatex were worthy winners of last year’s prize and are taking advantage of one of Festo’s change management centred training courses – the Festo Synchro Game; providing participants with the opportunity to explore the challenges of implementing Lean projects from an employee engagement and communication culture perspective.

Andy Graveson, National Team Manager – Automotive Industry, Festo

We will be launching the Awards entry process next month, but now is the time to start thinking about what you have done in the last twelve months that you are proud of and that you would like wider recognition for.

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