Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay connected with NAA

Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Twitter

Stay in touch. Get all the latest NAA news and events straight to your email.

Please fill in the email box and click the sign up button

    NAA Update May 2012 – Carol Holden, CEO: New staff, new funding opportunities

    New project manager for the Higher Apprenticeship project; Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative & RGF round 3; Niche Vehicle Network: up to £150k of grant funding; Business Excellence Networking event; Industry Forum visit to Japan

    New project manager for the Higher Apprenticeship project

    Firstly I am pleased to announce that we have a new part-time member of staff, Susan Butters. Susan is our project manager for the Higher Apprenticeship project, so I am sure that she will be trying to speak to many of you in the coming months about your approach to apprenticeships. I would like to encourage all of you to have one more apprentice start than last year, remembering that apprenticeships are a way of training and developing your existing mature staff as well as taking on new, young talent.

    Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative & RGF Round 3

    I hope that you have all had an opportunity to look at how the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative or the RGF round 3 could be of benefit to you. If you are already considering an application and are a member of the Business Excellence network then we have a provider who can give you support with your application, from either writing it all for you, reviewing an in-house written application, and making recommendations to giving specific advice on such elements as state aid. By making use of this option it will give you a 35% reduction on the normal “high street” price.

    Niche Vehicle Network: up to £150k of grant funding

    For all the small innovative companies we have on our circulation, we have just heard about the opportunity of R&D funding through the Niche Vehicle Network, which has now moved from being a West Midlands activity to a national activity. The all-electric Westfield iRacer (pictured) was one of the projects of the Niche Vehicle Network in 2011. There will be up to £150,000 of grant funding. There will be a launch in the Midlands on 30 May which I will be attending and I am also looking to hold a local event where we can “match-make” consortia. In other words, unless you have the time, you don’t need to attend the event on 30 May. Please let me know if you are interested in understanding more about this NVN funding opportunity by emailing me on

    Business Excellence Networking event

    By the time that you read this our next event will be the Business Excellence Networking event. Everyone who has attended these events so far thinks that those who don’t come are really missing out! So come and find out for yourself, it is also why we sent out the survey to all BE members to understand what would encourage you to attend one of the networking meetings. The June event is one not to be missed as it will be at one of the companies who has benefitted from the mentoring support to introduce and achieve ISO14001 status. We will also be having a presentation on a vital topic – employment contracts and agency workers – by EEF. Plus there will be all the normal opportunities for networking with other companies in the Business Excellence programme. Even if the nominated Business Excellence Network lead in your company cannot attend, please look at sending someone else, I’m sure they will benefit as well as yourself.

    Industry Forum visit to Japan

    I know it’s a long time in advance, but if you are interested in TPM then take a look at the next Industry Forum visit to Japan, as there is a discount available until the end of June that I wouldn’t want you to miss out on. Some of our companies have previously taken part in these visits and have found them very beneficial. If you would like to understand more about the opportunity then let us (Zoe) know and we can arrange a local briefing session; alternatively contact Industry Forum direct.

    With all the public holidays, it seems like no time since I wrote the last one of these articles – and with more holidays in early June, I’m sure I’ll be saying the same thing in next month’s newsletter!

    Carol Holden

    Chief Executive

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