Six-figure government grant for Teesside's Nifco UK

Mike Matthews said the skills gap remains a 'real threat' but Government cash will help the company address the problem

Ian McClelland Photography Mike Matthews of Nifco Credit
Mike Matthews of Nifco Credit

Teesside plastics manufacturer Nifco UK Ltd has secured significant Government cash to invest in its growing workforce.

The car parts company, based in Eaglescliffe, has been approved for a £300,000 grant from the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS).

Managing director Mike Matthews said the cash will be used to help address skills shortages that remain a ‘real threat’ to the sector.

The funding from BIS’s Employer Ownership Fund (EOF), will be awarded on the basis of Nifco investing some of its own cash into the development of its people, and meeting a number of measures and milestones along the way.

Nifco plans to use the funding to provide staff with programmes of extra training in areas such as maintenance, quality and principles, rolling them out across the 40 staff over the next three years.

The company celebrated a £12m expansion to its factory at Eaglescliffe last year.

Mr Matthews said: “We’re committed to helping our staff develop and improve their skills, something that we believe is absolutely fundamental to spur on the growth of the business.

“Nifco employs talented people, but we believe that ensuring their skills remain at the cutting edge is essential if we are to continue to innovate and create products that meet the demands of the market.

“This grant allows us to push our development strategy further. We’re delighted that we’ve been offered it, and we will put it to really good use to ensure that we further the positive effect Nifco has on the local and regional economy.”

The business, which manufactures functional plastic parts that are used in the engines of cars produced by Nissan, Ford, Honda, and Jaguar Land Rover among others, is aiming to double its turnover to £100m by 2020.

Mr Matthews added: “We cannot grow the business without the support of all of our colleagues and continue to appreciate the efforts from all teams. I have no doubt we will see a positive return on investment from this funding and Nifco UK will continue to grow.

“Investing in people is a vital part of our effort to address the skills gap that still remains a real threat to businesses in this sector. Supporting employees to develop their skills is a responsibility that all businesses should take seriously, and we’re doing everything we can to ensure our team is given every chance to be the best it can possibly be, through training and development.”

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