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Firms' skills given a boost.

Mentoring is proving to help develop skills in the region's manufacturing firms.

RTC North has teamed up with firms to help them turn their businesses around by taking part in a mentoring programme.

The scheme, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund saw eight companies take part in an improvement programme in problem solving. Working in conjunction with manufacturing consultancy Forward Vision and mentoring company Calsonic Kansei, the programme provided the companies with a wealth of knowledge and practical assistance.

Now those who took part have reported a significant difference in their performance.

During a feedback session some firms announced massive improvements to their business as a result of their participation in the scheme.

Edwin Trisk Ltd, based in Sunderland, has since managed to produce a 100% quality improvement in the powder coating process, and win back a previously-lost client contract in full. The client has also doubled its future contract.

Martin Newman, consultant at Forward Vision, said: "A mentoring programme such as this is a fantastic way for local manufacturers to get outside the four walls of their plant and see how others do things. They've all learnt some excellent skills in identifying and managing production problems, and made bonds with other manufacturers for future support".
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 26, 2004
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