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Nifco's giving something back with college deal.

CAR parts maker Nifco UK is putting money back into Teesside - by partnering with Middlesbrough College to provide more than PS285,000 worth of training.

The growing Eaglescliffebased firm has recently completed the first year of a three-year operative training programme with the college.

The programme will see staff at the car parts company have productivity training with a value of almost PS1,000 each.

Nifco was awarded the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS)'s Employer Ownership Fund (EOF) to help deliver an extensive people development programme to support its rapid expansion. It will work with the college to deliver training, including employee ownership, improvement activities and coaching courses.

The training is just part of the company's commitment to investing in people, after it announced its intention to add at least six apprentices to the team for each year it recruits.

Nifco awarded the programme, internally called Total Productive Maintenance and scheduled to run until March 2017, to Middlesbrough College after considering a number of options for training.

The PS285,000 committed to the programme with the college is funded in-part by an EOF grant of up to PS142,000, which the business must match-fund with its own money, and will allow Nifco to provide staff training in areas such as maintenance, quality and principles. Nifco was one of only five businesses in the country that successfully qualified for EOF funding.

Mike Matthews MBE, managing director of Nifco UK and European operations officer, said: "As a business, we genuinely believe that the growth we have seen has been, in no small part, down to investing in our people. We believe they are the key to the ongoing success of the business too, so we are in no doubt that we have to invest in them to realise our full potential.

"We are delighted to work with Middlesbrough College to deliver this programme. It's fantastic to be able to offer mutual support to an institution that is playing such an important role in the development of the Tees Valley."

The college will continue to roll out training at Nifco over the coming months, working with employees from across the business. This company-wide programme will provide the foundation for Nifco UK to engage the whole workforce in the next step in achieving the company vision, which is to be the European first choice for automotive plastic functional components.

Ian Smith, director of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at Middlesbrough College, said: "We are very excited to be working with Nifco UK as the business is a real advocate of skills development, apprenticeships and investing in people, and that's something that we as a college strongly support."

The business has a turnover of more than PS50m and is aiming for PS100m by 2020.


Nifco MD |Mike Matthews MBE, on the left, with Ian Smith, director of STEM at Middlesbrough College with the cheque handover after agreeing a deal to provide training GILBERT JOHNSTON

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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 28, 2015
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