Business leaders have discussed the ‘huge’ opportunities presented by the launch of Manufacturing Wales, a new organisation set to transform the sector in Wales over the coming years.
This week on the Wales Business Review podcast, host Carwyn Jones was joined by Oliver Conger, CEO at British Rototherm, Alison Orrells, MD at the Safety Letterbox Company and Richard Selby, Chairman, IoD Wales and CEO at Pro Steel Engineering, where Manufacturing Wales was the main topic of discussion.
“I think it’s got a huge amount of potential, a huge amount of opportunities,” said Oliver Conger.
“Quality is at the core – there needs to be some kind of criteria to be part of this organisation, certainly on the quality side. We’re really excited what it’s going to turn into over the coming months and years.
“It’s going to be a platform for businesses to connect – to discuss problems and create solutions.”
Alison Orrells, of Neath-based The Safety Letterbox Company, the UK’s leading manufacturer of mail and parcel delivery boxes spoke of the benefits of collaboration through Manufacturing Wales.
“I think it’s quite isolating particularly for SMEs in manufacturing and it’s important that we shout about what we’re good at and collaboratively we can do that,” Ms Orrells said.
“One of the major benefits for me being part of this in terms of the supply chain opportunities, the links and collaboration with academia.
“We’re very interested as a group to work with the universities to look at KTPs, and to look at introducing product development into schools again to ensure that the future innovators will keep this industry alive and thriving.”
Richard Selby spoke of his own experience with collaborating with other manufacturers in Wales.
“As a company, we’re fairly new to manufacturing. In Torfaen, where we’re based, 38% of the companies are manufacturers but we didn’t really know who they were and what they did,” he said.
“As we became more embedded in the community, we found there were some synergies and opportunities to work together to solve each other’s problems.
“When Frank Holmes approached me about manufacturing Wales, it seemed to make so much sense that we could broaden this across Wales and create a network of high quality manufacturers across a range of industries. Potentially, we could make a lot of economic progress in Wales.
“Over the last few weeks, I’ve been talking to a number of renewables firms who are looking to set up manufacturing facilities in Wales, which is just so exciting, and they’ll need Welsh supply chains to support them. I think there is the capability and the quality here to support some new industries that complement the skillsets we already have.”
Manufacturing Wales already has numerous founding members including Creo Medical, FSG, IQE, Penderyn, Pro Steel Engineering, Rototherm, SPTS and The Safety Letterbox Company being joined by academic affiliate Cardiff Metropolitan University, to create a unique platform for manufacturing to connect, share problems and create solutions.
Read more about Manufacturing Wales here: https://businessnewswales.com/wales-leading-manufacturers-join-forces-to-establish-a-pioneering-consortium/
Watch the latest Wales Business Review podcast here: https://businessnewswales.com/wales-business-review-episode-34/