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    NAA Update: Last chance to exhibit at Automechanika at the NEC in June 2016; first networking meeting in Yorkshire with a visit to Ginetta

    This could be one of Carol’s longest-ever articles, but that’s because there’s a lot going on, especially in terms of 2016 NAA events that you can’t afford to miss…

    Monday saw the launch of the Automotive Apprenticeship Matching Service, please take time to look at our article and investigate it further.  It was an activity that I discussed with SEMTA five years ago, so it is really pleasing to see that, thanks to the Automotive Industrial Partnership, it is now in place, ready to help both companies and those who want to enter into the automotive industry.

    I was fortunate to attend the EEF 2015 Future Manufacturing Awards at the end of January after having been a judge at both local and national level. It was very pleasing to see how our new geography performed in the Awards with the National Business Efficiency Award won by Veka UK Group from Burnley, The National Developing People Award won by J F Renshaw in Liverpool and Acorn Stairlifts from West Yorkshire winning the Outstanding Export Award, and the same company was also the Winner of Winners.  While none of the companies are in our sector I do recommend taking the time to read about them through the case studies on as their journey could be the inspiration that you need to consider entering an award yourself; and of course why not start to get experience of this process by considering the 2016 NAA Awards. If you’re interested then please contact Martina and we’ll start to work with you to help you enter the best possible application for our Awards, and as always look out for the Awards Workshop, hosted by Morson Group, where you find out the insider tricks and tips for Award applications.

    The NAA LinkedIn Group is now a member’s only exclusive arena. Over the next few months we’ll be developing the communication with this group to ensure that members are the first to hear about forthcoming events, funding opportunities and much more. As a closed group, it has enormous potential to be a safe networking area for members, and we would be delighted to hear about how you would like this group to develop. So, if you are already a member, please make sure you have signed up to the group. You will need to send the request via LinkedIn and if you are still not with us, what are you waiting for, sign up today!

    At the end of January I heard that all exhibition space at Automechanika had sold out; so if you were considering attending and hadn’t quite made up your mind, you’re too late for your own stand. However, we still have one or two places left on the NAA stand so please read our event article download the booking form and sign-up quickly. It promises to be a packed three days with multiple forums run by the SMMT [see the article in this newsletter], and also the main SMMT Meet The Buyer event for 2016. The NAA will take the strain and cost out of organising your own stand both before and at the event, enabling you to maximise your time at the exhibition. While thinking about Automechanika I would also recommend that you consider the rest of your show attendance for 2016; we still have vacancies for both our CENEX Low Carbon Vehicle stand in September – relevant for any of you involved in R&D for the automotive industry – and also our UK Advanced Engineering Show stand in November.

    Some NAA events for your diary:

    • 10th March will be our first networking meeting in Yorkshire with a visit to Ginetta. Please reserve the date now in your diary and watch out for the email with booking details, it should be with you within the week and like many of our networking meetings we anticipate that it will get sold out very quickly!
    • 17th March is the NW joint cluster meeting on Lightweighting, being held at Preston College. There are opportunities for you to take stand space as an exhibitor as well as attend the event. Take a look at the event article. It’s an ideal opportunity to listen to activities within other sectors and also network with a wider group. I look forward to seeing you all there.
    • 10th June is another date for your diary, this is the first day of Cholmondeley Power and Speed; the new name for Cholmondeley Pageant of Power. The NAA will be present at the event, although it will take a different format this year and will consist of several different activities. I am only going to talk about one of them in this newsletter! We are looking to organise a schools event where they build a car and then race it against the other teams present. The aim is for each school to be sponsored and supported by a local company. If this is of interest then please contact Martina ( and she can share more information with you. Our hope is that this will be the start of a longer term relationship for each company with the school, and that you will include them not only in other NAA events, such as the Annual Dinner, but also let them get to know your company better so that we can encourage more interest in the industry so that they can see the large range of opportunities available to young people.

    If you would like to be part of a funded low carbon R&D project, I hope that you have all heard about the launch of the Advanced Propulsion Centre’s APC5 funding competition – obviously you need to be working on your bid at this time. As the March deadline is drawing closer, if you need any help or support, then please let us know. For NAA paid members we have a free bid critiquing service; however, we do want to be aware of these in advance and struggle to give you a good service if you only let us receive the information the day before final submission date!

    If that service was a surprise for you then I recommend you take another look at our 21 reasons to join the NAA and see if you are really maximising your membership; if you’re not yet a member, then can you afford not to join us?

    In addition to events now being held in the Yorkshire area we’re starting to visit companies in the Yorkshire area. If your company has a relationship with another business in the Yorkshire & Humber area then please make contact with them, and provide us with an introduction so we can go and speak to them – we currently have some interesting offers.

    I’m sorry for the length of my article this month, but there was a lot to share with you!


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