We have an exciting opportunity for a Multi-Skilled Maintenance Technician to join our Engineering team. Please find below job advert and link to apply.
Mark Fletcher MP enjoyed a visit to our factory on 20th August where he planted a Canadian Maple in recognition of our Anglo-Canadian partnership. See below article which featured in Manufacturing Management.
On March 31st 2020, we announced a temporary closure of our UK business due to a Force Majeure situation, beyond our control. We planned to re-open on April 22nd, 2020.
Although the COVID-19 situation continues, we are pleased to announce that a safe method of working is now in-place, and although the Force Majeure situation may still govern some areas of activity, we are re-opening as planned.
From today, we are starting with limited staff in all Departments, and some will work from home.
A reduced Manufacturing Operation will start on Monday April 27th, 2020.
Staff level and manufacturing capacity will be increased gradually according to customer demand, whilst continuing to maintain a safe working environment.
Further updates will be provided as and when necessary.
22nd April 2020
On March 24th 2020, we announced a temporary closure of our UK factory due to a Force Majeure situation, beyond our control. We were due to re-open our factory on April 6th 2020. Our staff were continuing to work from home until March 31st 2020.
The COVID-19 situation continues, therefore effective April 1st 2020, we will be completely closed for an extended temporary period until April 22nd 2020.
Our staff (Operations, Sales, Technical, Customer Service, Accounts and Purchasing) previously working from home, will now stop working and are unavailable.
The provisional return-to-work date for our staff, is Wednesday April 22nd 2020. Initially, this may be from home.
Our Logistics Operation is also planned to be working from 22nd April 2020, for receipt of raw materials, and shipping of finished products.
We plan to re-start our Manufacturing Operation on Monday April 27th 2020.
The C0VID-19 situation is evolving, as is the Government and Business response to it; as such, our decision is subject to review and change. Further updates will be provided as and when necessary.
During this period of closure, should you have any concerns, please contact myself via the details below.
Phone: +44 7794 405053
31st March 2020
Blachford UK is offering its factory, people and resources to the national effort to fight the killer Coronavirus.
Production at the factory has now ceased. However, appeals from the government to manufacturers to assist with the UK effort has prompted Jason Lippitt, Managing Director of Blachford UK to offer the services of the company’s factory and staff.
He said: “We have a large production facility and a skilled workforce, including engineers, machinists and designers, that can all be utilised to manufacture goods and equipment that are critical to the NHS.
“If there are any companies out there, particularly those making PPE for NHS workers, we have staff and equipment at Blachford and we’d all like to help.”
The company has set up a dedicated email address during the crisis, to ensure that requests for help are answered immediately.
More than 100 people are employed at Blachford UK’s site in Holmewood, Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
Jason added: “The company view is that we are all in this together and our staff want to help wherever they can to help the nation get fit and well and back to business. Blachford is a family and I am immensely proud of every member of staff for their support, not only for the company but the national effort to fight Coronavirus.”
Jason praised the government’s response to a national shutdown, saying: “The national shutdown I believe puts UK manufacturers in a strong position to recover business faster than many other countries. There is no doubt that UK manufacturing will face financial hardship over the coming months but, due to the nation’s collective shutdown, I believe the sector will be in an excellent position in a couple of years.”
Companies who are involved in producing essential supplies during the COVID-19 and would like to talk to Blachford should email NHSsupport@blachforduk.com.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION – CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
Due to the rapidly worsening situation with COVID-19, strict controls have been implemented by governments across the world to limit the spread of the virus.
Our UK manufacturing facility is now closed until 6th April 2020. This may be extended further, and we will provide you with regular updates.
For the period from 25th March until 31st March, we will be operating a reduced Logistics Operation for shipping and receiving, and you should continue to use your normal routes of communication.
Our staff (Operations, Sales, Technical, Customer Service, Accounts and Purchasing) are working from home until the evening of 31st March 2020.
Further updates will follow for the period commencing 1st April 2020.
Please be assured, Blachford UK will continue to read communications from all stakeholders, and we will continue to communicate all our intentions regarding manufacturing operations and availability of staff during this difficult period.
New contact information will be issued where necessary.
Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience.
25th March 2020
Congratulations team! Seven members of the Blachford UK family successfully participated in this year’s Redbrik Chesterfield Half Marathon on Sunday 20 October – racking up an average time of 2:08:28 for the 13.1 mile course.
Boasting more runners than ever, Blachford UK was once again delighted to sponsor the Fun Run alongside fellow sponsors Redbrick and Peak FM which sponsored the 5 Mile run.
The three events attracted more than 1,500 participants – the biggest Chesterfield Half Marathon yet – and also helped raise thousands for good causes across the region. £40,000 was pledged in 2019 for charities including main charity partners – Chesterfield-based Ashgate Hospicecare and North Anston-based Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.
A further donation is set to be given to both Ashgate Hospice & Bluebell Wood by Blachford UK following a Facebook competition asking people to guess the average time of Blachford runners in the Half Marathon. Neil Barstow was closest with his guess of 2:18:55 and nominated to have his £100 prize donated to the 2 charities.
Neil also helped raise further money by taking part in the Blachford Fun Run with his wife and two children. The Fun Run was open to people of all ages – and dogs!
As well as half marathon runners, Blachford employees and their families could be found throughout the route, both as competitors in the Fun Run and Five Mile Run and as volunteers on the Vicar Lane water station.
Managing Director Jason Lippitt, Jo Kisgory, PA to the Directors and Lisa Wibberley, Accounts Assistant all volunteered at the annual event, handing out water and shouting words of encouragement to the thirsty runners on a cold Sunday morning.
Jo said: “I volunteered on the water station last year and loved it. Someone handed me a megaphone to shout words of encouragement but this year they didn’t think I needed it! It was a fantastic day. The team and I all loved it in spite of the cold.”
And, despite competing last year, Jason was unfortunately unable to compete in the Half Marathon due to injury, but his wife Julie, stepped up in his place and did the Blachford team proud.
Blachford’s runners and times included:
Redrik Chesterfield Half Marathon
• Marc Slack – 1:41:44
• Ryan Phillips -1:55:05
• Graham Howland – 1:59:51
• Ian Roe – 2:05:40
• Paddy O’Donnell – 2:19:23
• Julie Lippitt – 2:28:45
• Paul Pearson – 2:28:48
Peak FM 5 Mile Run
• Connor Tolan, Junior Project Engineer: 40:05
Blachford Fun Run
• Neil Barstow, Materials and Planning Manager
As part of the preparations for the Redbrik Chesterfield Half Marathon, an “after work” running club was established at Blachford and it paid off, with every member of the team finishing the race.
Jason commented: “The Redbrik Half Marathon is always a fantastic event and we’re proud to have been a part of it again this year. The sense of community in Chesterfield is amazing and we love the opportunity to be able to get involved with local events like this, particularly ones where the wide Blachford team can get involved. A huge well done to everyone who took part. It was a tough course.”
Logan Fairey was the winner of the 1KM Blachford Fun Run, which took place within the boundaries of Queen’s Park in tandem with the main event. Cohan Beatson, HR Advisor, had the honour of presenting the prizes for the Blachford Fun Run.
Blachford UK’s Anish Vaghela is celebrating after gaining his Mechanical Engineering degree from Leicester’s De Montfort University.
Not only has Anish completed his degree but he has paved the way for degree apprenticeships at Blachford UK. His dedication, commitment and enthusiasm has prompted the company to recruit three degree apprentices who will be funded throughout their degree.
Anish (24) joined Blachford three years ago as part of a 12-month work placement during the third year of his degree.
“Work experience is key and the reason that I chose a university course that incorporated a year in industry. I wanted practical and relevant hands-on work experience which I knew would stand out alongside my degree on my CV,” explained Anish.
He impressed Blachford so much during his placement, that the company offered to employ him full time and fund the final year of his degree. He subsequently completed the final year of his degree part time, combining work and study, over two years.
“I was over the moon that Blachford wanted to hire me,” he said.
Beyond giving him a job, Blachford has helped shape Anish’s future career. “Before coming to Blachford I was set on becoming a design engineer. However, at Blachford I have had the opportunity to experience the entire manufacturing process from costing, process flows, design, logistics and safety standards, as well as be part of a number of major projects.
“I have discovered, through this, that I really enjoy process improvement. It is great to see a positive end result that benefits both our customers and the business,” he explained.
And that’s not been the only surprise for Anish since joining Blachford. “When I first came to Blachford I was really timid. I was mentored by Stephen Smith, who is a larger than life character, and he really brought me out of my shell. Blachford feels like a family. The company helps, supports, teaches and invests in you, which makes the 100 mile round trip to work every day more than worth it.”
Anish credits his grandfather for getting him interested in engineering. “My grandad was a mechanic and I spent a lot of time with him. I was always dismantling stuff to see how it worked and then trying to put it back together.”
Anish’s love of manufacturing design isn’t just confined to Blachford’s factory floor and office. He’s a 3D printing and remote control aircraft nut and he was able to combine his two passions for his final year project for which he received a first.
Anish has designed a 3D printed remote control aircraft. Never flown before, the aircraft is shortly set to take its maiden flight at Blachford’s Holmewood site in Chesterfield where it will be witnessed by colleagues.
If you’d like to see whether the plane flies, stay tuned to our social channels.
If you’re interested in finding out more about a degree apprenticeship at Blachford, then email Cohan Beatson (HR) at firstname.lastname@example.org to request further details.
To learn more about what Blachford does, check out the Blachford UK channel on YouTube at https://youtu.be/WmK8k8hg1b8
Frustrated by the lack of young people joining the manufacturing and engineering sector when they leave school, Jason Lippitt, managing director of Blachford UK has written an open letter to north east Derbyshire’s schools and young people. As the managing director of a leading European manufacturer of acoustic and thermal insulation components , he shares his frustrations in this open letter over the disconnect between education and the manufacturing sector. He believes this is damaging both industry in the UK and young people’s workplace potential.
‘It may come as a surprise to young people and their teachers, but it’s not A grades or first-class degrees that are top of the list for many employers. I want to employ young people who have a strong work ethic, initiative and a desire to learn and get on and, I want to give them apprenticeships.
I run a successful manufacturing company in Chesterfield, but I rarely get speculative approaches from young people enquiring about apprenticeship opportunities. I know that Blachford is not alone in this. This is why I am calling on all schools to position apprenticeships as golden opportunities for careers with all their pupils, regardless of how they perform academically. Apprenticeships give young people both the qualifications and a head start on the career ladder. Better still, they are university debt free. With the right attitude there are no boundaries to career potential, particularly in the manufacturing sector. Give me a young person who is keen to learn and progress, and I will ensure the Company invests heavily in their future. I will put them on the right apprenticeship path for them and happily fund their degree if that is what they choose.
Driven by the current skills shortage, the career opportunities for young people in the manufacturing and engineering sector are limitless.
There’s a current shortfall of 173,000 skilled workers as 89% of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) businesses struggle to recruit. The situation is getting worse as, with Brexit on the horizon, new STEM roles are expected to double in the next 10 years. We need school leavers now to fill these roles. These school leavers are the senior engineers, managing directors and business leaders of the future.
Schools, young people and companies in the STEM sector must talk to each other. Until then, neither the sector nor many young people in this country will reach their true potential.
If we do not collectively encourage young people to consider apprenticeships alongside A levels and university, we are risking the country’s economy. The engineering sector alone contributes more than a quarter of the UK’s total GDP. This figure is likely to rise in the face of Brexit however, with a skills shortage this sector cannot perform to its potential.
The lack of young people entering the STEM sector when they leave school is also, I believe, down to an outdated view the nation has of jobs in engineering and manufacturing. Jobs in these sectors were traditionally seen being dirty and hard. Thanks to technology, times have changed. The use of technology has also opened up more exciting and progressive career opportunities which are often hidden from view.
Walk around manufacturing and engineering companies today and the shop floor is only a small part of the business. Behind Blachford’s shop floor, we have laboratories, engineering workshops, IT, an international sales team, HR and finance departments – all offering a variety of roles for aspiring young people.
Don’t expect jobs like this to find you though. An internet search on a jobs’ website will not always reveal opportunities like this. You have to create them. Convince MDs like me that you could be their next employee. Be proactive and start with that speculative letter or email. I promise you it will open doors.
If you’re the parent, friend, teacher or relation of a young job seeker, I urge you to share this letter with them. I believe that in life we make our own opportunities and a career is no different.’
Blachford UK Ltd
Holmewood Industrial Park,
t: 0044 (0)1246 850828