Outstanding contribution to manufacturing

Rachel Eade, manufacturing support specialist and TM Top 100 judge has picked up a prestigious accolade from the Institute of Sheet Metal Engineering (ISME).

Eade – automotive sector lead for the Business Growth Service – has assisted more than 2,500 companies in her career and has been awarded ISME’s Gold Medal for services to the sector.

Bosses praised the manufacturing expert for the her endeavors beyond the call of duty to support member firms the likes of Radshape and Sertec Group to overcome major challenges to grow and create jobs.

Rachel Eade, automotive specialist, Business Growth Service
Rachel Eade, automotive specialist, Business Growth Service.

Eade’s role at Accelerate was mentioned, where she was an instrumental figure in the delivery of the MG Rover Taskforce that helped tens of companies survive the closure.

“This really came out of the blue, but is an award that means a lot to me,” explained Eade, who was awarded a MBE in 2014.

“There have been a lot of high profile people previously named as Gold Medal recipients so to follow in their footsteps is a great honour and underlines the importance of external advice, guidance and support can have on businesses.”

She added: “I’ve worked with a lot of firms who are involved in sheet metal and it’s probably fair to say it is a part of manufacturing that has had to evolve more than most over the last decade.

“The good news is that it has done just that and a good number of manufacturers are now in a period of sustained growth.”

It is estimated that in her 19-year career, Rachel has helped safeguard 11,000 jobs and created in excess of 5,500 new positions with expanding manufacturers.

In addition to the work she carried out with the MG Rover Taskforce, Eade has also been heavily involved in helping industry come to terms with the Peugeot closure, the effects of the Far East Tsunami and the development of the new Tooling Fund.

Eade said: “There has certainly been a lot of ‘ industry ups and downs’ during my career, but we are now in a position where the UK is back at the forefront of manufacturing.”

“My role at the Business Growth Service is to work with the automotive supply chain and this could be in providing coaching, mentoring, strategic business reviews, signposting to other external support opportunities, access to finance or brokering relationships with tier 1s and car makers.

“I’ve also helped firms leverage in funding from schemes such as AMSCI (Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative) and the Regional Growth Fund (RGF).”

ISME Chairman Steve Morley commented: “Rachel Eade has contributed immensely to our sector and I’m delighted that we have been able to mark this by awarding her our prestigious Gold Medal.

“We look forward to the future and our members continuing to access specialist support that will help them overcome challenges and make the most of new opportunities.”