Middlesbrough College Deal

Hush Digital     9th April 2015

Nifco puts Middlesbrough College in driving seat

GROWING manufacturing business Nifco UK is putting money back into Teesside by partnering with a local institution to provide more than £285,000 worth of training.

Nifco UK has recently completed the first year of a three-year operative training programme with Middlesbrough College. The programme will see staff at the car parts company undergo productivity training with a value of almost £1,000 per person.

The Eaglescliffe based business, which was awarded the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS)’s Employer Ownership Fund (EOF) to help deliver an extensive people development programme to support its rapid expansion, will work with the college to deliver training, including employee ownership, improvement activities and coaching courses. The training is just part of the company’s commitment to investing in people, after it announced its intention to add at least six apprentices to the team for each year it recruits.

Nifco awarded the programme, internally called Total Productive Maintenance and scheduled to run until March 2017, to Middlesbrough College after considering a number of options for training. The £285,000 committed to the programme with the college is funded in-part by an EOF grant of up to £142,000, which the business must match-fund with its own money, and will allow Nifco to provide staff training in areas such as maintenance, quality and principles. Nifco was one of only five businesses in the country that successfully qualified for EOF funding.

Mike Matthews MBE, managing director of Nifco UK and European operations officer, said: “As a business, we genuinely believe that the growth we have seen has been, in no small part, down to investing in our people. We believe that they are the key to the ongoing success of the business too, so we are in no doubt that we have to invest in them to realise our full potential.”

“We are delighted to be working with Middlesbrough College to deliver this training programme, the college has strategically aligned itself with our needs by investing in the same equipment we use. It’s fantastic to be able to offer mutual support to an institution that is a playing such an important role in the development of the Tees Valley.”

The college will continue to roll out training at Nifco over the coming months, working with employees from across the business. This company-wide programme, which targets improvements in equipment effectiveness, efficiency and quality, will provide the foundation for Nifco UK to engage the whole workforce in the next step in achieving the company vision, which is to be the European number one supplier of choice for automotive plastic functional components.

Zoe Lewis, principal and chief executive of Middlesbrough College, said: “We are very excited to be working with Nifco UK as the business is a real advocate of skills development, apprenticeships and investing in people, and that’s something that we as a college strongly support.”

Mike added: “We’re so grateful to Middlesbrough College, Tees Valley Unlimited and BIS for all of the support they have given to Nifco UK.”

“We’re thrilled to have been offered this grant and we have made firm plans to put it to good use to ensure that we further the positive effect Nifco has on the local and regional economy.”

The business, which manufactures functional plastic parts that are used in the assembly of the interiors, exteriors and engines of cars produced by Nissan, Ford, Honda, Toyota, Vauxhall Opel and Jaguar Landrover, has a current turnover of more than £50million and is aiming to reach a turnover of £100million by 2020. The company is adding to its number, with a range of vacancies both on the factory floor – where the team will fulfil orders including Nifco’s recently announced £50million deal with Ford – and in the office, including roles in the company’s expanding research and development team. For more details about Nifco visit www.nifcoeu.com.