Growth in the automotive and renewable energy sectors has led nine small and medium-sized manufacturers in the West Midlands to pledge over 150 new jobs.
The Midlands Assembly Network, a nine-strong manufacturing collective, are predicting £7.5m of new work in 2013. As a result, companies within the network have already started hiring and scaling up their manufacturing processes.
First established in 2006, the Midlands Assembly Network (Man) is made up of nine members including Advanced Chemical Etching, Alucast, Brandauer, Barkley Plastics, FW Cables, Mec-Com, PP Electrical Systems, SMT Developments and Westley Engineering.
Each company offers a different engineering solution, ranging from high volume precision pressings, electrical control systems and tooling to PCB assembly, wire harnesses, specialist fabrication and injection moulding.
The nine companies currently employ 450 people, with electronics assembler PP Electrical alone is set to create over 30 jobs as it looks to boost revenues to £50m by 2015. PP Electrical has added a new technical and sales office in Hamburg to support its electronics sales and has increasing interest from customers in North America.
With over £6 billion of automotive investment in the last two years and production increasing at Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and Mini, growth is fueling job creation throughout the supply chain.
Barkley Plastics supplies JLR and BMW Mini, while Brandauer, FW cables, Westley Engineering, Advanced Chemical Etching and Alucast, which supplies directly to Norton Motorcycles.
“There’s a lot of negative talk about manufacturing output slowing down and if we’re not careful we’ll talk ourselves into another recession,” explained Tony Hague, managing director of PP Electrical Systems.
“We recognise how tough it is out there, but we prefer to be positive and look at what we can do to seek out and exploit new opportunities…With what we’ve got planned, I would expect MAN to add £7.5m of sales in 2013 and this should lead to 150 jobs – some of whom will be apprentices.”