M J Quinn

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by M J Quinn'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 M J Quinn 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


Highlighting best practice
Manager and Owner Mike
The MJ Quinn office
MJ Quinn began life in 1980 as a small electrical
company working around the Merseyside area. Today,
the company has a turnover in excess of £100 million
and works across the whole of the UK and Ireland. Growth
has been achieved through diversifying and branching out into
new sectors, predominantly working in the rail and telecoms
sectors, installing and maintaining electrical, mechanical and
fire system installations, with the additional expertise of fibre
optics and telecommunications. Founder Mike Quinn has been
with the business since its inception and remains CEO today. He
explains how they have expanded their offering on the road to
Although we began business in 1980, we were formally incorporated in 1990.
I started the business after studying to be an electrician, via the local college
system. In the early days, we were quite a parochial company. The mid-1980s
and early 1990s saw the northwest suffer a downturn in business in general,
but rather than struggling with this, we expanded nationally. Our main area
of business at this stage was the installation of fire detection and suppression
systems. We had approximately ten employees and quickly made our mark in
the banking and finance sectors, which had to protect their stores of computer
tapes and ensure that they weren’t damaged in the event of a fire and a
»Manager and Owner: Mike
»Established in 1980
»Based in Liverpool and London
»Services: Electrical, mechanical
and telecommunications
installation and support
»No. of employees: Around
»No. of clients: Around 20
MJ Quinn
Our growth continued, and we
had become one of the biggest
fire equipment installers in the UK,
while maintaining our success in
the London area. Followingthe fire
at King’s Cross station, there was
a major overhaul of the London
Underground fire system, and we
were invited to assist in this process.
Our base skills in electrical and
mechanical engineering led us to
widen our offering to both London
Underground and Network Rail,
especially where the two combined at
the major stations inLondon.
Strength through diversification
Our foray into the construction services
industry was brought about by the
major projects that were starting in
the country, and we were engaged on
several contracts at the Canary Wharf
development. Generally, this arena
was fraught with delays, both in the
completion of works and in payments
received. The need to move out of
this sector took some time to achieve,
but the decision was taken to enter
the telecommunications market, an
area we had previously been involved
in with Marconi and BT. The future of
fibre networks and 4G/5G upgrades
led us to believe there would be
significant opportunities, and, because
of this, our company is on track to
achieve £110million of revenue
To help support this growth and
provide the necessary support, we
teamed up with Palatine, a private
equity house, who have been with
us for some nine years. As we have
expanded, we have embraced
technology to increase both efficiency
and accuracy of data. We now have a
fully integrated end-to-end reporting
system for all our income streams, and
all our engineers use handheld devices
in the field. All of this is overseen by
our stable senior management team.
A commitment to training
We have also been ensuring that our
carbon footprint remains minimal,
even as we expand our operations.
Many of the clients we work for are
installing energy-efficient systems, and
we aim to promote these as much as
possible. We are committed to training
apprentices and have been employing
them since day one. We are currently
training 20, and we are planning on
taking on another 50 over the next 18
months. This covers both our electrical
and telecommunication arms, and so
we are able to train a wide range of
employees in different fields.
We were engaged
in various contracts
for the Canary Wharf
All of this is
overseen by
our stable
Highlighting best practice
Central to our success has been
our willingness to explore different
locations and enter different sectors.
Throughout our history, we have
always striven to remain adaptable
and flexible. If we had remained in
Liverpool only, we would still be a
parochial company. From the outset,
we viewed ourselves as a national firm,
an exporter to the entire country. Once
the company reached a base level of
good knowledge in the electrical and
mechanical areas, I knew we would
be able to adapt into other areas.
Telecommunications provided the
perfect opportunity, although at the
time we were also considering power
generation or utilities. To support this
new venture, we established training
schools in Liverpool and London, which
can train 20 personnel on both theory
and practical skills. We support this
with additional on-the-job training
While we have expanded beyond
our local area, we still significantly
contribute to its success, providing
training for local workers and an
economic boost. This has been
supported by the investment
Liverpool has received through central
government regeneration and by
being the Capital of Culture. We also
continue to support the local areas
that we operate in throughout the
Greater London area.
The need for more apprentices
One of the biggest issues in the sector
is the skills gap among younger
generations, which is particularly
affecting the London area. There are
countless projects that require skilled
workers, including HS2, Crossrail
1, Crossrail 2, Hinkley Point and
Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium.
The mechanical and electrical trades in
particular are suffering because of this
and, in my opinion, companies should
be training more apprentices to help
ease this problem. The government’s
apprenticeship levy has proved to
be confusing, and the resistance
to bringing in apprentices needs to
change. We have responded with the
establishment of our training school
and are only now navigating our way
through the levy scheme.
As we look to the future, we are
hoping to double our turnover in the
next three years. We plan to continue
our diversification – for instance,
we are planning to move into the
installation of electrical car charging
points across the country. We are also
involved in the installation of smart
meters, and our sprinkler division has
begun retrofitting sprinklers to high
rises, flats and apartment blocks. There
are a number of opportunities for us at
the present moment, and, as always,
we are looking to capitalise.
our history,
we have
always striven
to remain
adaptable and
Projects like Crossrail will
require countless skilled


This article was sponsored by M J Quinn. 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 The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister