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    NAA Update: Celebrating the successes of the automotive industry in the North West

    Make sure that you’re at the NAA 2015 Awards Dinner to celebrate the region’s success and witness announcements in person…

    I hope that you’re all getting your glad-rags ready for the 2015 Annual Dinner on 12th November, I’m really looking forward to the event as it has become the day in the year where we celebrate the successes of the automotive industry in the NW. I am continually reminded by some of my colleagues across the country that we don’t make enough noise about what we do or how successful we are; so watch out UK, we will be changing that during 2016, starting at the dinner, so don’t miss out on our announcements, be there and hear them in person! If you haven’t got your dinner tickets, email Zoe and she will happily take your booking, let’s make this a bumper evening to be remembered by everyone.

    Here are four other dates for your diaries for forthcoming events prior to the formal notifications:

    • 8th December: We will be having a meeting at Kawasaki Robotics; I recently went there for an open day and it was a real pleasure being able to see the facility in Warrington and watch several robots doing their stuff!
    • 9th December: We will be holding a workshop entitled Northern Powerhouse – what it means for the Automotive Industry.
    • 26th January 2016: This sees us at TVS Chorley for a networking meeting and a chance to see how a logistics operation functions, along with thoughts for the future.
    • 17th March 2016: Also lots of advance notice for a joint NW cluster meeting (Automotive, Aerospace, Textiles and Chemicals) on lightweighting being held at Preston College, Preston; there will also be an opportunity to tour the new Engineering Centre.

    I have been involved in several meetings where skills have been the prime topic this month and I challenge you all, as I have done in the past, to look at the average age of your workforce and the percentage of your workforce that is over 50. Then you need to ask yourself should you be doing something about it; both Martina and I will happily help you work through it and develop a plan.

    It has also been disappointing to hear that the Automotive Industrial Partnership is going to be finishing a year earlier than planned as the government has removed the funding; however what I have found really pleasing is that the AIP has not only met the majority of its targets, but in many cases has over-delivered already. I also find it very encouraging how the automotive industry and the companies that sit on the Automotive Council Skills Working Group have really collaborated and coped with all the adversities that have been put in the way of AIP over the last two and a half years and how they are determined that there will be a sustainable outcome for the benefit of everyone in the industry. The key item that will now be delivered for the benefit of us all is the Apprenticeship Clearing House which means that high calibre potential apprentices who are unsuccessful with large companies are then available for other companies who are looking to take on apprentices and struggle to get sufficient applicants.

    See you on 12th!


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