Cwm Engineering

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Cwm Engineering's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Cwm Engineering is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Malcolm Walters, managing
director, and Bev Walters,
financial director
Mazak CNC machine
2017 was a fantastic year for Cwm Engineering, and
2018 onwards is set to be more of the same for both
them and the industry that they serve. They have grown
organically since their formation in 2011, and are fast reaching
their maximum capacity both in terms of size of premises and
order book – they’re growing, and are happy to be doing so in
Wales. The spectre of a post-Brexit world looms, however, and
Cwm definitely foresee opportunities. They hope for a more
liberated business world with fewer obstacles to trade. As leading
computer numerical control (CNC) machinists, their business is
both traditional and modern. Bev and Malcolm Walters elaborate.
Our family business serves various key sectors in the UK, and we are contemplating
exporting for the first time, as we consider the future market conditions to be
opportune. Our product is made in Wales and valued by all our customers because
of our pricing, reliability and the high level of skill involved in manufacture. Our
core business of CNC machining is central to all we do, and we have consistently
invested in new technology to keep up with the demands of our customers. Our
main technology provider is Yamazaki Mazak, whose machines are built at their
base in Worcestershire; they are a key partner when it comes to growth of our
business, and a great company that we have grown alongside.
The right people make all the difference
Our passion and staff drive our business. Both have been critical to our success,
and the knowledge across our workforce is second to none. The age profile in
»Managing director:
»Financial director: Bev Walters
»Established in 2011
»Based in Cross Hands,
»Services: Design and
engineering across a variety
»No. of employees: 10
Cwm Engineering
Highlighting best practice
our factory is varied – we have young
apprentices and time-served engineers
who share their experience with the
new blood. Our main concern covers
our capacity to recruit the right, skilled
individuals; not so much with regards
to their engineering competencies,
but more so concerning their sound
values and core skills. We would
look then to training them on our
apprenticeship scheme, and shaping
them into the calibre of employee we
look for at Cwm Engineering. Our
apprenticeship-led approach to growth
has been successful and, indeed,
vital. The business now has a crop of
younger engineers who demonstrate
both keenness and ability in droves –
for now, it’s just about finding more
The local tertiary college has been a
key stakeholder in this regard, and
we feel that this makes a genuine
impact on industry, especially in a local
capacity. We deeply believe that some
“old-fashioned” skills such as design,
metalwork and woodwork should
be further encouraged at secondary
school level; perhaps the education
system needs to look to some more
traditional subjects to satisfy the
demand of prospective employers.
Asan interested and invested observer
on this topic, we see and hear a great
deal of rhetoric identifying the skills
gap, but are yet to benefit from any
positive and practical solution. The
apprenticeship initiative is a wonderful
scheme and genuinely helps us, but a
cultural, generational and educational
change is undoubtedly required if we
are to strengthen our skill base.
Retaining quality
Our quality standards are important to
us – we are accredited to ISO 9001:2015
through the British Standards Institution
(BSI). This represents not only that
rigorous quality regime that we have
adopted, but a mark of reliability,
grounded in the history of the British
Standards Institution – we value and
strive for excellence, and the BSI award
supports our brand to great effect.
Based in west Wales, we benefit
from a superb way of life outside
the business, and consider ourselves
to be well located in Cross Hands,
Carmarthenshire – many of our
Bridgeport milling
A cultural,
change is
required if we
are to
strengthen our
skill base
customers and suppliers enjoy coming
to visit us. Transport and digital
infrastructure has improved immensely
recently, but there will always be more
that can be done to keep up with
larger economies. In our opinion, an
M4 relief road around Newport would
undoubtedly assist Welsh business, and
would nicely accompany the new travel
routes through Cardiff Airport and the
toll changes at the Severn Bridge.
Development and sustainability
We are looking forward to the
wider benefits that the forthcoming
Swansea Bay City Region Deal will
afford both us and our local peers.
At Cwm, we hope that such a large-
scale government investment will see
maximum benefit realised at a local
level; we also appreciate that restrictive
EU rules will not be in place, which
therefore allows local supply chains to
benefit by virtue of this initiative. As a
husband-and-wife-founded business
with roots in the area, we believe
that west Wales is comparable even
to the north of England as a potential
powerhouse in waiting.
Our business is becoming more aware
of our environmental responsibility
with every day that passes, and we
now regularly consider our “threePs”
– people, profit and planet. Our
salaries are above average for the
local area; we operate in a fiscally
responsible manner, and are acutely
aware of the commercial and global
benefits of our environmental duty.
This is something we will be devoting a
significant amount of our resources to
as we continue to grow.
Our future
Our goal, for now, is to continue
successfully trading in the same
way we’ve become accustomed to,
while retaining existing business
and sourcing new custom through
export and domestic sales. To ensure
this, we have entered discussions
with a developer who will build us a
brand-new, purpose-built production
facility on a strategic employment
site in southwest Wales. This will
undoubtedly raise our profile, allow for
greater production capacity and help
us to attract the best talent around.
Being a part of this year’s edition of
The Parliamentary Review
is important
to us, as it has allowed us to reflect on
where we’ve been, where we are now
and where we are going.
We value and
strive for
and the BSI
supports our
brand to great
Various precision-
engineered components
by the team at Cwm

This article was sponsored by Cwm Engineering. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy