ChargePoint MD joins other manufacturing bosses to debate sector challenges
ChargePoint Technology’s Managing Director, Chris Eccles was a panellist at the NW Business Insider’s Manufacturing breakfast at Knowsley College’s Institute of Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Campus in Liverpool.
The event brought together leading manufacturers from across the Liverpool City Region to tackle challenges affecting their industry, including how to inspire young people to choose a career in manufacturing.
Those also taking part in the breakfast debate included Dr Andy Levers, technical director, Virtual Engineering Centre, University of Liverpool; Graham Bond, head of the North West Manufacturing sector, RSM; Alan Seeley, HR manager, Getrag-Ford; and Kevin Martin, director, Tratos Ltd.
When asked about the skills gap in the Liverpool City Region, Chris said: “It’s a mixed bag. ChargePoint Technology takes on three undergraduates each year as part of our placement programme and amongst them we always try to recruit at least one woman which we feel is important to boost female representation in engineering and manufacturing.
“It works well too, it changes the dynamic in the work place and improves the balance. And by recruiting graduates and other younger people we are bringing in new blood, new ideas and energy.
“We also started working with MerseySTEM during this year’s International Festival for Business to help boost interest in these subjects in young people, as early as primary school age.
“We also offer the chance to tour our facilities in Speke, so youngsters can see what it’s like, it’s not dirty and dark, it’s a bright and vibrant sector to work in and it’s important to excite young people about it and the opportunities it can offer.”
The Made in Merseyside breakfast also explored the opportunities open to manufacturers and advanced manufacturers in Merseyside – from growth through exports to scientific breakthroughs.
It shone a light on the region’s key assets, including its universities, Sci-Tech Daresbury, the Virtual Engineering Centre at Hartree, Knowsley College and the imminent Sensor City and Materials Innovation Factory which are all adding world-class capability in science and innovation.