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ACE taps into WMG support to unlock female talent

Published on 12/10/2016

A rapidly growing Shropshire manufacturer has tapped into a new ‘leadership’ programme to boost its senior management team. Advanced Chemical Etching (ACE), which produces metal components for the automotive, aerospace, F1, medical and high value engineering sectors, has appointed Jayne Powell as its Human Resource Director after she impressed on WMG’s Innovation Business Leadership (IBL) Course.

The former HR Manager will be responsible for overseeing the company’s increasing workforce, which has grown by 25% over the last two years after the company secured a string of new orders to take its turnover past the £4m mark.

Her new role will see her take the lead with recruitment, training and employee wellbeing, ensuring the 46-strong workforce is in the best shape to cope with expansion plans that will see it aim for £5m by 2017.

“We have invested heavily in new etching equipment and a state-of-the-art laboratory, but have also channelled significant funding into developing our staff and our people. Jayne’s development and subsequent appointment to our senior management team is testimony to this…we really want to hold on and grow our best people,” explained Ian Whateley, Managing Director at ACE.

“The Innovation Business Leadership Course is the continuation of a long-term relationship with WMG at the University of Warwick and gave her an excellent insight into strategic skills and know-how on how to lead. We’re looking forward to Jayne putting what she has learned into practice on a day-to-day basis.”

IBL is starting again for its third year in mid-October, with an induction event where both new and existing participants will meet.

The course consists of five three-day modules covering current topics, such as innovation strategy, people development, industry 4.0, and supply chain management. It is undertaken over the course of the year, so not to disrupt the running of businesses.

Participants benefit not only from the course itself, but also receive mentoring and access to a range of networking and funded support opportunities.

Jayne Powell added her support: “The IBL course offers development in all facets of business. With every module I attended I have been able to utilise the skills learned in a way to benefit myself and the business, with the most significant achievement being my appointment as HR Director.

“I feel that the knowledge gained has helped me to build greater confidence and now I’m looking forward to the new role and helping ACE achieve its growth plans

Barry Winter, Course Director at WMG, concluded:

“We set up IBL three years ago with the intention of encouraging SME managers to take on-board the cutting edge theory and expertise we have in the department and apply it to their own businesses. To see this now become a reality is a delight and we have a fantastic growing alumni of talented managers and directors from a broad range of SMEs joining the programme.”

Advanced Chemical Etching’s scope of activities is far and wide and can include anything from safety critical components for aircraft and cars to simple washers, electronic connectors and ornate clock faces.

With the latest production machinery and a culture of continuous improvement at its 20,000 sq ft facility in Telford, it can make products in materials, including stainless steel, nickel alloys, copper, beryllium copper, phosphor bronze, brass and, thanks to ground-breaking new processes, aluminium, titanium, molybdenum, nitinol and elgiloy.


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