GE Aviation: UK manufacturing’s high flyers

Posted on 5 Sep 2017 by Jonny Williamson

We have experienced record numbers of entrants to The Manufacturer MX Awards in November, the hottest date in the UK manufacturing calendar. We have been catching up with the 2016 winners, to see how the award has affected them going forward, and to provide a sense of the importance of these rigorously judged awards to UK manufacturing.

GE Aviation celebrating winning the ‘Partnership with Education’ category at last year’s The Manufacturer MX Awards.
GE Aviation celebrating winning the ‘Partnership with Education’ category at last year’s The Manufacturer MX Awards.

Given the increasing nervousness in the sector about the UK skills pipeline, companies who forge strong links with schools, colleges and universities deserve the greatest respect.

Although there are companies large and small across the country who make this part of their daily lives, last year we honoured GE Aviation in Wales for the breadth and depth of its educational outreach programmes, encouraging its employees to become STEM ambassadors, and to visit schools from primary level upwards to spread the word about the brilliance of a career in engineering and manufacturing.

GE Aviation’s Laura Harvey coordinated the award entry, and she told The Manufacturer why she felt it was an important step to take.

“Being shortlisted, and winning, enables the business to highlight successes and achievements to both colleagues, stakeholders and industry,” she said.

“We are now able to say we have an ‘award-winning programme’ which has been recognised by The Manufacturer, placing us alongside the best in British manufacturing. Having recognition for a programme the business is truly passionate about, and being able to showcase our efforts to others, is a fantastic opportunity.”

I always ask entrants to the MX Awards about the time it takes to undergo the judging process, for make no mistake, this is not your average awards programme. We judge every entry rigorously across a matrix of standards that are recognised as industry benchmarks of excellence. Winning takes effort.

This article first appeared in the September issue of The Manufacturer magazine. To subscribe, please click here.

“Entering the awards takes time and effort, which is often difficult to find when working in a fast-paced manufacturing environment,” Laura told me. “However, the process is extremely rewarding and having the opportunity to meet with industry experts, and obtain feedback before the Awards evening, is not only valuable for the business, but unique to any other awards process GE Aviation Wales has participated in within the UK.

“To then be named winner of the ‘Partnership with Education’ Award is a huge accolade for the business, and a testament to the hard work and passion both the business and employees place on inspiring and motivating students across Wales.

“Being recognised at such a prestigious UK ceremony is a great honour, and has instilled a huge sense of pride across the business.”

Entries for the 2017 awards, which will be announced at a gala dinner during The Manufacturer’s Digital Manufacturing Week in Liverpool in November have now closed, but the opportunity to attend is very much wide open, and given that you have the chance to attend the Leaders’ Conference and the Smart Factory Expo on the same day, this has to be the must-attend event of the year.

As Laura told me, “I would encourage all manufacturers to get involved with The Manufacturer MX awards, whether that is through application, sponsorship or attendance. To be shortlisted or win is a great honour – to be in a room with top UK manufacturers, across a wide variety of industries, is a fantastic opportunity to network, share best practice, and hear about the incredible advances the UK is making in manufacturing.”

Celebrate with us

The Manufacturer will be hosting the largest celebration of UK manufacturing, The Manufacturer MX Awards ceremony and gala dinner 2017, on 16 November in Liverpool.

The ceremony is the culmination of a year-long entry and judging process, where more than 1,000 industry leaders will join to network and reflect on the success of British manufacturing. (See the shortlist here)

The awards ceremony is co-located with The Manufacturer Live series of events across 15-16 November. For more details on the ceremony and to book your tickets, please visit: