Alliance to help Welsh manufacturing compete globally

Posted on 14 May 2013

Welsh manufacturing has been given a boost with the formation of a strategic alliance designed to create a new breed of skilled worker.

Cardiff-based Stratum and recruitment firm gap personnel have joined forces with the aim of improving the efficiency and productivity of manufacturing firms across Wales.

Gap (gap personnel) and Stratum are working together to ensure manufacturers in different sectors – including automotive, life sciences, food & drink and aerospace – have access to a steady supply of skilled workers who can ‘hit the ground running’ when they join the production line.

Under the terms of the alliance, manufacturers will be able to call on skilled flexible workers supplied by gap when elements of their own permanent workforce are undergoing training and development led by Stratum.

Gap’s own temporary workers will also benefit from Stratum’s expertise in lean manufacturing and other areas of best practice.

There will be the opportunity for gap temporary workers to secure permanent contracts with the manufacturing firms at which they have been placed.

The two companies hope their alliance will help to address Wales’ skills shortage, and enable manufacturers from Llanelli to Llandudno to compete globally.

Mike Hughes, managing director at Stratum, said: “The Welsh manufacturing companies that we partner with often cite a lack of skilled workers as their number-one recruitment challenge.

“Training up a new production operative, and ensuring they are conversant with internal procedures and up to speed with all the latest in manufacturing best practice, can be extremely time consuming for these businesses.

“We want Welsh manufacturers to have skilled, work-ready operatives at their fingertips so that absolutely nothing is lost in terms of productivity, efficiency and profitability.

“Joining forces with gap personnel will allow us to focus on our speciality of organisational development, while leaving the recruitment to the experts.”

Stratum offers bespoke development packages to employers in a range of sectors, focusing on everything from leadership and employee engagement through to essential skills courses.

Formerly known as Stratum Learning and Development, Stratum recently merged with e-academy following a successful 12-month partnership.

Gap personnel, which has its head office in Wrexham and recently launched a South Wales division, places and payrolls 7,000 temporary workers a week. The company provided staffing solutions to nearly 1,200 clients last year, achieving a record turnover of £72m.

Mark Roberts, managing director at gap personnel, said: “We’re excited to be entering into this alliance.

“Stratum has a proven track record of improving the performance of manufacturing firms, and has an in-depth knowledge of relevant funding avenues.

“Together, we aim to help boost Wales’ long-term industrial competitiveness and upskill the country’s workforce.”