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    NAA Update: Recent events: Cenex LCV2012 and Automechanika; NAA Awards and Dinner; Apprenticeships

    September has been a very busy month for the NAA. Cenex LCV2012 took place over 5 & 6 September and the NAA had a stand together with three companies and three universities from the region.

    It was a relatively busy show and is as important for the networking and catching up on what is happening through the seminar programme as well as the generation of new leads. Then the following week Martin attended Automechanika in Frankfurt with four companies, although the show wasn’t quite as full with people as in prior years, the companies who attended with us saw plenty of positive leads.

    This week I have had the privilege and pleasure of visiting four companies who have applied for our Company of the Year award. Seeing the improvements that these companies have made during the last 12 months and their openness with us over their businesses has reminded me that the reason we exist is to support you in achieving excellence. You will have to wait until 18 October at our Annual Dinner to know who the companies are and whether they have won or not… which leads me neatly into the Annual Dinner. Following 2011’s first dinner for several years, where we had an “intimate” gathering of 50, this year we currently have bookings for double that number and it is looking as if we may be sold out, so if you haven’t bought your ticket yet, get in quick!

    I was pleasantly surprised at my sons Y12 parents’ induction, to hear the headmaster say that there is a growing opportunity for the boys at the end of their A-levels is to take a Higher Apprenticeship. If only other schools took the same approach. On quizzing him, two years ago they had one boy take a higher apprenticeship, this year four boys have taken them; obviously it is early days especially as they were all in accountancy, rather than engineering. I am concerned that across the country there is lots of noise (events, publicity etc) about apprenticeships but relatively low take-up levels. Let’s make sure that we all do our part to ensure the future of our businesses by looking at the feasibility of taking at least one apprentice, or just find out more about the opportunities that are open to you.

    I heard during this last week that the government is offering an incentive for any company within manufacturing industry who takes on a graduate on full-time employment for a minimum of three months, please take a look at our website for more information or speak to us.

    I look forward to seeing you at either the Business Excellence Networking meeting in October or at the Annual Dinner.

    Carol Holden
    Chief Executive

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