Global business flying high by engineering the skills for success

HM Lord-Lieutenant for Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, has hailed world-leading Leighton Buzzard-based B/E Aerospace for their "ground-breaking" commitment to attracting highly-skilled engineers from the local community.

The Grovebury Road-situated UK headquarters of the $3billion global company, which has doubled its workforce in two years to more than 650 employees, are the leading manufacturer, designer and developer of aircraft cabin interior products for both commercial aircraft and business jets.

B/E Aerospace also have a long history of supporting local organisations, education and community projects, including working with Central Bedfordshire Council, the Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce and engineering students from UTC Central Bedfordshire in Houghton Regis.

Mrs Nellis presented Luke Potter and Sam Slatter – former Vandyke Upper School and Cedars Upper School students-turned full-time employees – with certificates to mark their qualification from a three-year NVQ traineeship in mechanical manufacturing engineering. Victoria Dickson was also handed an associate award for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Accompanied by B/E Aerospace UK Vice President of Operations, Keith Delderfield, Mrs Nellis – who is also the Business Ambassador for Bedfordshire – was given a tour of their facility and demonstrations of the company's key products and services.

"I was extremely impressed by the vibrant and innovative culture of this exciting company,” Mrs Nellis said, adding: “It is a great pleasure that we have an organisation of this calibre and global impact located in our county.

"The work that B/E Aerospace is doing with young people to encourage them into a career in engineering is ground-breaking and I was delighted to learn of their commitment and support to our local communities in so many ways.

"B/E Aerospace is operating at the cutting edge of the industry and is an exemplar of how businesses thrive when they engage the talents of the whole workforce."

B/E Aerospace VP, Mr Delderfield, added: “It was a pleasure to show HM Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire around our facility here in Leighton Buzzard, introduce the Lord Lieutenant to our staff and demonstrate our manufacturing capabilities. We are more than happy to work with Central Bedfordshire Council and other bodies to promote business opportunities in Bedfordshire.”

Nigel Young, Executive Member for Regeneration and Business at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: "B/E Aerospace is a shining example of the world-leading, high-performance technology businesses that exist within Central Bedfordshire's borders, and one of the reasons why this key sector has grown by 38 per cent since 2009. Their contribution to the community is also a hugely significant one as they have a firm focus on attracting young people towards highly-skilled careers.

“This matches our own ambitions and, by working with companies like B/E Aerospace and the many outstanding education establishments available to us, we will be able to develop a skilled and adaptable workforce. This is part of our new approach to drive and support investment and economic growth in our four key sectors of high-performance technologies and research and development; agri-food; visitor economy; and logistics.”

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