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 Spirotech Group is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.
Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles
55SPIROTECH GROUP |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
David and Russell Gadsby,
ATEX-rated explosion resistant
conveyors – power industry
Spirotech Group is a specialist engineering company, based
in Peterborough, that provides manufacturing solutions
for a range of industries. Although they were established
in 1977, brothers Russell and David Gadsby took over in 1993.
They have since grown Spirotech into a progressive and forward-
thinking engineering company that is informing the future of the
engineering sector. Owners Russell and David explain how the
firm is both looking to the future with their new training centre
and hoping to take advantage of profitable emerging markets.
Since we took over Spirotech in 2005, providing a versatile and adaptable service
has always been at the centre of our work. Russell, who works as our director of
engineering, and I have been able to attract contracts from a range of industries,
thanks to the excellence of our work and our ability to create products that are
made to fit our clients’ requirements.
Quality at the core
The hallmark of Spirotech engineering is quality. We work to our clients’ needs,
which can often be diverse, but we always ensure they receive a finished product
that they are happy with. Our experience has allowed us to produce a number of
items on request, and our team has such versatile skills that we are always looking
to solve engineering problems for our clients.
The work we do is varied, with a number of repeat local clients providing us
business, alongside manufacturing companies from the emerging markets.
Werecently finished a £5 million contract for Reliance, an Indian conglomerate
»Owners: Davidand Russell
»Director of engineering:
»Established in 1977
»Based in Peterborough, with
centres in Aberdeen and York
»Services: Engineering of
specialist solutions for the
food, chemical, oil and gas,
aggregates and aerospace
»No. of employees: 75
»Group turnover: £10 million
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
56 | SPIROTECH GROUP
who work in energy, textiles, retail
and telecommunications. We were
contracted to produce pressurised
screw conveyors at the pre-
manufacture stage, which would then
be used in the chemical industry.
All our engineering is done in-house.
This way we are able to ensure the
quality of our work, which allows us
to secure repeat business. We work
on a range of long and short-term
contracts, which provides security but
also allows us to continue to work with
A key strength of our service is our
ability to respond to the market.
Engineering is constantly changing and
we understand and embrace it. The
rise in the use of technology means we
cannot sit back and relax. Instead we
continue innovating and developing
Training for the future of
Our rigorous in-house training centre
is key to ensuring the quality of our
engineering. When engineering
students leave college or university,
they have basic knowledge and skills,
which our training helps to fine-tune.
In addition to opening a new training
centre, we have applied for planning
permission for a new factory that will
increase our workforce by 25 per cent.
This will allow us to develop our own
talent and ensure our quality standards
will be continued.
The training moulds young engineers,
providing them with knowledge of
the exact requirements of a day-to-
day job in engineering. It will allow
them to synthesise what they have
learned, but it also develops skills in
When we started there were only 12
employees, initially a mix of old and
new engineers. Only two or three have
remained, however, from before the
takeover. Some have retired, but it is
important to note that some failed
to adapt to the constantly changing
demands of the role.
In the future, we expect to see more
machinery operators who have a
greater knowledge of technology,
working alongside engineers. We do
not shy away from these changes
and we will look for a different kind
of employee in the future, alongside
the new training centre. As changes
happen, which will likely be in a
piecemeal fashion, we want to
develop a business culture that can
Our training programme is focused
on welding high-end alloys. As a
result of the costs associated, this is a
skill that many students won’t learn
at college or university. Our training
centre in Peterborough should be able
to accommodate 20 people at any one
time, and will offer training to both
our employees and other companies.
We see this as a great opportunity
for new business and relish the
opportunity to be seen as industry
leaders, driving further expertise in
the engineering sector. By bringing
basic skill levels up, we are building
on engineering education previously
acquired at college and university.
5m diameter x
16m powder silo –
need to trade
57SPIROTECH GROUP |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
The last three years have been a great
period of growth, where our turnover
has nearly doubled. A key area, aside
from the emerging markets, has been
with clients within the water industry.
This includes Yorkshire Water, Scottish
Water and United Utilities. We mainly
produce powder handling instruments,
and the increase in enquiries from
companies in the same industry is
testament to the quality of our work.
Our larger clients include Weetabix,
Coca-Cola, Airbus and Nestlé.
With Weetabix, we have recently
manufactured high-end alloy cooker
screws, our partnership spanning 20
years. Initially, we undertook smaller
projects; this has since snowballed,
and, while we work on a case-by-case
basis, they know and trust our work,
which is why they keep coming back.
We bang the drum for the quality of
British engineering. British standards
are an exportable commodity, and
have come to represent a hallmark
of quality. Our international business
is well established, especially within
emerging markets, and will allow us to
move to a larger factory – subject to
planning permission. It has also been a
key part of our recent growth, which
allows us to further develop our staff
It is difficult to gauge the effects of
Brexit from our position. While we
do business in France, Germany and
the Netherlands, even those markets
have their own agenda. Recently,
we manufactured a large vessel for a
French company, and while standards
are meant to be harmonised within
the EU, they still sent inspectors over
to check that the products were to
their own standards. Protectionism
still exists, even within the EU, and
often more so than when dealing with
emerging markets, who embrace the
quality of our work.
We are concerned about trade tariffs
and the free movement of goods, as
changes could increase our cost base.
Cross-border recruitment is another
concern, as we currently employ 20
non-UK EU citizens.
Our export business was secured
without government help, but we
think assistance should be more readily
available. Every export deal is unique
and the support has to be made-to-
measure. Given that many companies
have never functioned outside the
EU, government assistance will be
necessary to avoid a detrimental effect
on the UK economy.
It is essential
that the UK
gets a trade
with the EU in
order to not
conveyor – chemical
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review
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.