Coming out

Posted on 15 Apr 2011 by The Manufacturer

ATB Morley shows how it is putting manufacturing opportunities in the spotlight as TM's blog Ditch the modesty, identifies lack of effective communication as a big hindrance to growth.

Yorkshire-based ATB Morley is an award-winning manufacturer of rotating electrical motors. With strong exports – especially to China’s mining industry – and an innovative attitude towards product and process development, ATB embody the Government-issue vision for UK manufacturing as a high added value industry that can compete globally.

Furthermore, ATB is proving that this vision is a realistic road to riches as it continues on a growth curve that has seen turnover go from £7m in 2003 to £19m in 2010.

Earlier this week TM featured a blog which lamented the intrinsic conservatism of UK manufacturing in shouting about their successes and the opportunities manufacturing careers can hold. Ditch the modesty was a call to arms for a more flamboyant and public airing of the prosperity and job satisfaction that advanced manufacturing as an industry can offer young people. It was also an indictment, to some extent, that we allow public misapprehensions around manufacturing skills sets to perpetuate skills gaps in key strategic areas, like automation for example.

In response to this blog a number of communications and comments have come back to TM to support this sentiment but also to try and promote the work that is going on with greater force. ATB’s recent Manufacturing, Innovation and Education Exhibition in Leeds was one that stood out as an example of how to approach this thorny issue of manufacturing’s image.

On April 7, ATB Morley hosted an exhibition at Pudsey Civic Hall, Leeds engaging key speakers from industry to step onto a public platform and try to enthuse their audience about their job roles, the skills and technology they apply in every day work and the satisfaction to be derived from working in the wider manufacturing community.

Managing Director of ATB, Ian Lomax, was among the keynote speakers. He spoke about his dynamic career and the role that he has played in taking ATB through its recent period of international growth. Speaking with TM recently Dr Alex Zivanovic, senior lecturer senior lecturer in Product Design and Engineering at Middlesex University, stated his belief that industry leaders need to take a more forthright approach to displaying the variety of opportunities involved in a manufacturing career if the industry is to draw in key talent. In order to compete with career opportunities in financial services, and other sectors seen to provide ‘high-flying’ and exciting jobs, manufacturing leaders must not be modest in speaking of the opportunities for foreign travel, contact with the latest technology and, frankly, wealth that comes with senior manufacturing roles.

It is great to see ATB and its representative attacking this issue head on. As a company that operates globally, as well as being one of a handful of UK organisations currently manufacturing motors which can be used in wind turbines, and therefore a key player in the trendy new green engineering industry, ATB is ideally positioned to show all that is most exciting and challenging about a career in manufacturing. The fact that they are taking that news beyond their own doorstep and out into the streets sets an example to more reclusive, but equally valuable, organisations in the industry.