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    NAA Update: Read Carol’s review of 2012 and look ahead to 2013

    December is often a time to reflect upon the progress during the last 12 months, so here we go.

    Awards Dinner
    Our 2012 Annual Dinner had over double the number of attendees of 2011. Whilst a huge amount of effort went into the event by NAA staff and all of our sponsors, it was a very successful evening and I look forward to the 2013 event.

    Training Courses
    Our training programme has been well attended during 2012; we even had to add additional courses in certain subjects! So we have extended the offering for 2013; please keep an eye on the website, newsletter and emails for information, and the 2013 leaflet will be sent out to all companies who have had an involvement with us in 2012 during the next week.
    Looking back at the December 2011 newsletter, the year has seen three of the areas mentioned develop significantly during 2012, so I thought I would give you an update.

    Firstly I mentioned one year ago that we had been successful in obtaining money from the National Apprenticeship Service for the development of Higher Apprenticeships in Advanced Engineering & Manufacture. Well, one year on we can see the end of the funding stream, we have a new member of staff in Susan Butters, but the uptake of higher apprentices is low, so we need to work on this during 2013. 

    Car for Young Drivers
    Secondly I mentioned the pending TSB Low Carbon Vehicle call, this time the NAA, as part of the mi-Technology consortium Car for Young Drivers, was successful in the IDP7 competition. After having several roadblocks to overcome, the expected start date is January 2013. We currently have pending TSB calls for the Low Carbon Vehicle IDP8 & IDP9 competitions.

    Business Excellence programme
    Finally I mentioned that the Business Excellence programme was beginning to take off – how little did I realise how busy Martin and I would be during 2012 with the projects, shows, networking meetings and ongoing activities of this project. We are still waiting to understand if we have an extension through to the middle of 2015; we should have the final answer during February.

    Employer Ownership of Skills Pilot
    With the recent launch of the Employer Ownership of Skills Pilot, again 2013 will see an emphasis on skills and NAA will be trying to ensure that we can find a suitable offering for everyone to participate in the process.

    New Board member
    News from the Board Room is that we have a new member of the Board, Dr Andy Lyons from the Agility Centre, School of Management, at the University of Liverpool.  Many of you may know and have worked with Andy in the past; so we welcome him and look forward to seeing how the North West University sector can contribute further to everyone’s success.

    NAA membership
    With only four of us, it’s a challenge to visit as many of you as we would like, so if you haven’t seen us visit your premises during the last 12 months, come and join us at some of our events or give us a call if you need information. I recently gave a “training session” for Board members on the presentation and discussions that I have when I meet new companies. Even the Board commented that they had learnt new information, and how the NAA has a wealth of knowledge that is there for you to tap into and use – so please make use of it! I would also ask you to consider one other item for the new year – if you have benefitted from our services during 2012 and you’re not a paying member of the NAA, then take the plunge and become one; we are dependent upon our membership income for our continued existence.

    Happy New Year…
    I know that for many businesses 2012 has been a challenging year from almost two extremes; either the volumes have declined linked into the challenges that the family car manufacturers have seen, such as Toyota and GM; or those of you who supply Jaguar Land Rover have been facing the challenges of increasing volumes and new models. Whichever part of the industry you operate in, I hope that 2013 brings you more success and the opportunity to develop your businesses further.

    So it just leaves me to wish you all a Happy and relaxing Christmas and New Year and a prosperous 2013 and I look forward to seeing you in 2013!

    Carol Holden
    Chief Executive

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