West Bromwich based Berck Ltd, leading manufacturers of quality metal pressings and metal and plastic subassemblies, have won an impressive £1m contract with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).
Having previously worked as a second tier supplier for JLR, the new order marks a continuation in their business relationship, with Berck Ltd producing components for the car manufacturer’s new line of vehicles.
According to Berck Ltd’s Managing Director Darren Yates, it is the company’s dedication to the highest quality standards and an expertise in the most innovative design which have ensured the firm’s precision components to become widely used in car manufacturing plants worldwide. Stressing the importance of excellent customer service, he says, “We have gained a reputation for really looking after our customers. We realise that they are busy people and we have always endeavoured to make it as easy for them as we can.”
The new contract will see Berck Ltd making cable harness assemblies, battery terminal contacts and cable management solutions to eliminate the over-heating of wires in the engine. The extra work has enabled the firm to expand their 63 strong workforce with another two members of staff, adding to their overall number of apprentices and championing the next generation of engineers at the same time.
Already employing two apprentices in their press show who are undergoing training to qualify as press setters, Darren Yates says, “We are really pleased to have taken on another apprentice who is being trained in quality control and in our tool room, as well as a post-graduate who is working in the product design department. It is important for us to look at the next engineering generation and we are incredibly pleased with our two new recruits.”
Having already gained a B-Tec level qualification, apprentice Rikki Power is hoped to join the company in the commercial department upon completion of his training. Meanwhile, 24 year old Pradeep Kumar has been recruited into the product design department, following the retirement of a former employee.
Commenting on his latest recruit, Darren Yates says, “Recruiting someone like Pradeep has breathed new life into this area of our business and is exactly what we wanted. In recent years, the image crisis suffered by manufacturing and engineering has meant it has not always been easy to recruit.”
However, identifying a change in perceptions as young people are becoming increasingly aware of the importance and value of learning a trade and acquiring specific skills, he adds, “The manufacturing and engineering sector is currently consisting of an ageing workforce. It is therefore important to preserve the skills and expertise of our highly experienced existing workers by bestowing them on the next generation.”
This is a practice that has already proven to be successful for Berck Ltd in the past. One of their staff members in the tool room originally started as an apprentice with the company ten years ago and has remained with them ever since.