Despite difficult trading conditions in the past year, Boddingtons Plastics has not been hampered in terms of its order book, backed by a variety of recent investments and expansions. Boddingtons success in this marketplace will now be matched by an intensive recruitment drive at the company’s main manufacturing facility in Marden, Kent.
The UK’s labour markets are in a period of intense turmoil entering Q3 2021, resulting from Brexit-related issues, the Government’s Furlough policies and other Covid 19 factors.
Boddingtons CEO Andy Tibbs says: “It is clear that manufacturing and manufacturing supply chains are currently enduring a perfect storm. Many post-Brexit factors are hampering trade, the furlough scheme is dissuading labour from seeking employment, and the continuing Covid-19 lockdown is also inhibiting the economy.”
Tibbs also points out that a series of polymer price rises have meant that material costs for plastics processors are now as high as they have been in thirty years, ‘with further rises set to come, and many manufacturers on allocation for certain grades.’
Nonetheless, close observers of the UK manufacturing scene will notice that Boddingtons has not been hampered in terms of its recent order book. A variety of investments and expansions have been recently announced by the company – particularly for the lively medical device and healthcare sectors.
Boddingtons success in this marketplace will now be matched by an intensive recruitment drive at the company’s main manufacturing facility in Marden, Kent.
Job opportunities in all areas of design, manufacturing and production will be advertised by Boddingtons through the coming summer months as the business readies itself for the next stages of growth.
Andy Tibbs comments: “There is actually no better time to join us at Boddingtons and to grasp the opportunities of a future career in medical manufacturing.
For better or worse, Covid 19 has unleashed a serious spike in demand for all manner of medical plastics innovations, and Boddingtons is meeting this demand and more. Our job – and the job of the industry – is to try and show that UK manufacturing has a vibrant and positive future. Hopefully, the 2021 economy will eventually show us some respite, and our recruitment activity will surge forward.”
Boddingtons – a four-time winner of awards in design for medical manufacture – has used the past 18 months to:
- continue its design and development of new products;
- facilitate tool transfer in medical manufacturers (improving the cost-effectiveness of production)
- contribute to the UK’s Covid 19 emergency manufacturing effort
- invest in new machinery and new ways of manufacturing
- double the size of its Class 7 cleanroom
Andy continues: “All of the innovation described needs the enthusiasm and participation of skilled and committed people. We are now looking ahead and gearing up for further company marketing and promotion this Autumn – in Ireland, the UK and Germany. We are therefore more than determined to anticipate new growth with fully equipped and fully staffed manufacturing resources so that our clients can also grow their businesses to the full.”
Boddingtons is currently recruiting at all ages and all aptitudes and experiences. A good indicator of the company’s nurture and development to staff development can be found in Robbie Boorer’s recent selection as a finalist for the plastics industry’s apprentice of the year.
The UK’s general engineering apprenticeship is – with good reason – reckoned to be indispensable for lasting success in industrial life. Boddingtons is committed to it – to invest in apprenticeship schemes so as to bring on key individuals and develop the future of the company’s business.
Andy Tibbs notes: “Our business always needs its people to possess a very broad set of manufacturing competencies; flexibility, adaptability, and a readiness to improvise and to think creatively in order to give our customers the manufacturing solutions they need.”
Robbie was able to demonstrate all of that to Boddingtons within three years. His talent for engineering began at school, and subsequently, he stayed in education, studying and achieving his Diploma in Engineering to a high standard and has now completed his 4-year apprenticeship scheme.
As part of his HNC qualification, Robbie needed to undertake a project of significance in the workplace. Boddingtons backed him all the way – setting him the task of designing and manufacturing his own injection moulding tool.
A budget of £6000 was set, and Robbie project-managed the whole task from start to finish, using the core engineering skills that he had learnt throughout his apprenticeship. With support and enthusiasm from his peers and colleagues, Robbie went on to produce a golf green marker tool on time, well within budget, to a very high standard and featuring the Boddingtons corporate design and livery.
The skills Robbie used during this project were planning, purchasing, product design, tool design, CNC milling, turning, wire and spark erosion, CMM measuring, injection moulding trials, report writing and – not least – budgeting!
Andy Tibbs concludes: “All of the skills and all of this work opportunity is available to the right candidates right now in our Marden facilities. We are extremely to meet the best that manufacturing can offer – with rewards to match.”