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03 December 2010

Welsh skills initiative benefits Eurogrind and subcontracting partner

The First Minister for Wales, Carwyn Jones (picture, left), visited Swansea based Eurogrind last month to award 11 employees with NVQ certificates, as part of the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) funded ProAct Programme.

Eurogrind is a manufacturer of precision cutting tools and inserts for the machining of titanium, Inconel, Waspalloy, graphite and additional exotic aerospace grade materials and composites that are commonly used in the medical, aerospace, automotive, motorsport and general manufacturing industries.

It is part of a group of companies that also incorporates BAW Precision, a subcontract manufacturer and automation specialist located on the same industrial estate as Eurogrind. The success of the ProAct scheme at Eurogrind has seen the Tier 1 subcontractor to the automotive, medical and aerospace industry follow its sister company on the same training path.

As Eurogrind enters the second stage of training, BAW is currently completing its NVQ Level 2 in Business Improvement Techniques. At BAW, this has already reaped significant rewards with tooling inventory being monitored and reduced. Cost reductions are also being identified throughout the facility due to employees' refreshed approach to business techniques.

Backed by the European Social Fund, ProAct was designed to help companies through the economic downturn by providing financial support to increase the skills levels of the workforce. The ProAct programme has enabled Welsh businesses to retain in excess of 10,500 highly skilled jobs throughout the recession, it is claimed.

This funding provided a lifeline that enabled Ponterdawe-based Eurogrind, which employs 28 people, to retain employees through the downturn. The company also benefits from funding from the Workforce Development Programme to meet ongoing training needs.

Eurogrind managing director Paul Kilbride (picture, right) set the wheels in motion with Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones. Liaising with the WAG, Neath & Port Talbot Council and Carmarthen College, the Eurogrind employees started the NVQ Level 2 qualification in Business Improvement Techniques in February 2010.

Andrew Allcock

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