Wakefield-based OE Electrics is a relative newcomer to the Made in Yorkshire network - but it is intent on making a big show.
The company, which manufactures and distributes electrical equipment, made a major impression at the recent Made in Yorkshire Expo with its eye-catching charging and connection points proving to be one of the lasting memories in a long list of notable displays.
David Masters, Group Managing Director, OE Electrics, said: “This was our first expo and we really enjoyed it. We have been very impressed since we joined Made in Yorkshire and we see a lot of value in it.
“It will also be a useful platform for us to build connections as we look to grow our business.”
That growth has been most clearly displayed with the company’s relocation to new premises. It has invested more than £9m in a move that has doubled the size of its operation.
The 66,000 sq ft facility at Calder Park is intended to futureproof the company by providing it with the additional capacity to accommodate growth.
“We want to expand and are looking to create more than 100 new jobs - including new apprenticeships, many of which will be recruited locally,” said David.
“We have been fortunate in that we have been able to recruit some of these new positions already but as an industry, we really need to to more to attract young people into manufacturing.”
David is collaborating with Wakefield Council to try and develop skills initiatives that will hopefully encourage more youngsters to view manufacturing as a viable career.
“What we need to do is to encourage more young people to visit manufacturing facilities so they can see that the industry is not the way it is portrayed by many in the media or in schools, or even by their parents,” he says.
It is a message he is keen to convey to the rest of the industry and to his Made in Yorkshire colleagues.
“Manufacturers need to do more to open up their factories and encourage more young people to come and visit. It is the only way we will make any progress in overcoming the skills gap.”
Whilst the company’s previous focus was very much on the office market, the additional capacity provided by the move will enable the company to target different sectors, such as education, healthcare, leisure and passenger transport.