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Encouraging youngsters into manufacturing

Posted onPosted on 28th Nov
Encouraging youngsters into manufacturing

The boss of an expanding Mansfield company used the official opening if its new premises to champion both the introduction of young people into manufacturing and Mansfield as a great place to do business.

Shane Gunstone is managing director of Asmech Systems Ltd, a leading manufacturer to the food and drink sector. It is a major supplier to some of the world’s leading corporations, creating bespoke conveyor and handling systems for the food and drink processing industries and container manufacturers.

As he unveiled its purpose-built new headquarters at Fountain Court, Millennium Business Park, Shane said: “The most important message is getting young children to come into the manufacturing sector, to see what manufacturing in the 21st Century is all about.

“Today is a great opportunity for us to raise awareness of engineering manufacturing, such as we do here at Asmech. Manufacturing in general offers fantastic and rewarding careers.

“I would like any child to see the following challenge being faced by companies like Asmech and turn it into an opportunity . . . the challenge that there is an enormous skills gap.

“There are lots of people coming up to retirement age and a big hole behind them in terms of skilled engineers being able to take their place. Succession planning is way off course.”

Asmech has a history of taking on apprentices and there are currently four at the company.
Shane said: “They have taken the plunge and decided a career in engineering is the route they wanted to take in life. I applaud them. They are the future.

“The work we have done at Asmech, and the work done by various small engineering forums, has helped in raising school children’s awareness of what modern engineering is all about.

“I believe there is still a long way to go and the more of you that bang the drum to raise awareness, the better chance that British manufacturing will survive and hopefully thrive and prosper.

“I am passionate about engineering and can tell you that it has brought me a lot of personal satisfaction. To look at an issue a customer is facing, discuss it with them, bring it back to the team at Asmech, sit round the table and come up with a solution is extremely satisfying. I believe British engineers do that better than most other countries in the world.

“So please use today as an opportunity to see what a modern-day engineering company does. Then take that information back into schools, your families’ homes and business in general — and help young people to see this as a good, viable, exciting and enjoyable career path.”

Shane also urged people to champion Mansfield as a great place to do business. He said: “Mansfield is not seen as a sexy place to be, yet we are perfectly positioned to do business all over the UK. North, south, east and west are easily accessed in half a day’s travelling by road.

“I use this as a selling point. We work all over the UK and are in a position to arrive on customers’ sites, with skilled engineers, equipment and anything required to keep their production lines going.

“So please take this message when you are asked why Mansfield is a great place to do business.

“When you consider our reliance on coal mines, knitwear and a brewery 20 years ago, the people of Mansfield and the surrounding villages deserve tremendous praise for their flexible approach towards the change in their lives.

“Small companies such as Asmech are now typical of how local people make their living, so let’s be more considerate in our view of our home town and villages.

“Look all around you. We’re set up to take advantage of inward investment and we have the infrastructure in place to do it well. We just need to shout a little louder about the town and the success stories within it.

“Do your bit to make Mansfield a great place to work and live — and be proud of it.”