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    Lancashire Case Study: MGS Technical Plastics – Not just great at Moulding Plastics!

    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.

    The company’s 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. The company 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 two 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 its workforce are apprentices. What makes the company 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, six apprentices are 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: “The company always treats people with respect and offers a lot of training opportunities, including apprenticeships. We are able to work on different projects providing a variety 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 has an excellent relationship with training providers, Training 2000 and Solutions4polymers, and are delighted with the standard of the learning and support that 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 the company delivered a series of courses on Leadership and Mental Health.

    Future Plans

    MGS plans to build on its fantastic record in apprenticeships and will continue to support and develop its current and existing workforce. It has had great interest from other companies about the apprenticeships and is planning to host an open day. This and any future events will be advertised on the events page on the NAA website.

    MGS is also keen to look into its apprenticeships becoming ambassadors and without doubt it will continue to be one of the best companies in Lancashire for people and talent management.

    MGS has a staff retention level that is the envy of other companies in its sector. It is proud of creating a safe and secure environment that empowers and leads in equal measure. This extends beyond company walls to the 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 sponsors the Blackburn Road Runners’ Winter Warmer 10km – some of its employees even take part – and the Blackburn with Darwen Good Neighbour Awards. It also supports Nightsafe, a local charity that provides services to homeless people aged 16 to 24.

    European Regional Development Fund Northern Powerhouse
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham