epm: technology have recently undertaken a partnership with skills body Semta, which, for Managing Director Graham Mulholland, will assist towards fast growth and future development.
Semta will be assisting epm as the business continues with the nine project plan to prepare and open a new factory, as well as successfully fill 42 open vacancies.
“We are looking to have a pre-order plan, so the skills and workers are in place to deal with contracts when they are won rather than chasing contractors to fulfil post order,” said Graham. “For us, it is not about being the biggest but the best. I would rather turn orders away than get them wrong. We are a very labour intensive business and it is a painful process taking a lot of time to get the right people in a structured and organised way with the right skills but Semta makes it so much easier.”
Since a meeting with Semta’s East Midlands business partner Malcolm Healey in May 2012, the company has taken advantage of the support offered to recruit new staff and upskill the existing workforce. Graduate engineer James Carter was recruited through Semta’s Graduate Funding Programme.
epm:technology was asked to complete an employer engagement form along with job specification forms. Semta advertised their vacancy on its website along with numerous universities’ websites, then filtered the applicants – forwarding suitable applicants to epm.
Graham said:” To be honest, I was a bit sceptical about the process but it has been
absolutely brilliant. James travelled down from Newcastle and has fitted into the team
superbly.” With plans to be a “clever” business with a £9m turnover by the end of 2014, Graham, who set up the business as a 23-year-old having worked in an office since leaving school, is determined to match the big companies. “In many ways we are a typical SME, but working with Semta has shown me we can stay ahead of the game with their help,” he said. “We have converted an old workshop into a classroom/training centre which has created an area for existing and new staff to learn.”
i) Arranged access to Composites Awareness courses in conjunction with the Composites Skills Alliance – ran one course on site and others have attended a public course delivered locally
ii) Supported epm:technology in recruiting apprentices through Derby College
iii) Arranged for staff to attend fully funded lean courses delivered through the Manufacturing Advisory Service
iv) Arranged for attendance of social media for marketing awareness session free of charge.
Graham added: “I am very proud to have developed the business in Derby. It is an area with a DNA for making things – cars, trains, aircraft engines – which filters through to businesses like us. We are not easy to engage with because we move quite quickly and take risks but I have thrown myself into it because I have seen real benefits of my partnership with Semta and what it has to offer. It has paid huge dividends and I expect it to go from strength to strength.”