Ask anyone from the North-east of England about the issue of genuine job creation in the region and they will tell you that it is vital. It's certainly true that the region suffered terribly during the last century. Events like the Jarrow Hunger March in 1936 and the 1926 General Strike are indeliblymarked on the history of the North-east as indicators of just how badly workers in our region were affected by appalling levels of unemployment and dreadful poverty. Back then, the region was regarded as the UK powerhouse for shipbuilding, coal-mining, steel and other heavy industries. When these industries began to fail, the economic and employment impact was enormous.
Despite this tragic legacy, the region retains immense pride in its achievements. And it derives greatsatisfaction from its ability to withstand the hard knocks: to rebuild itself from the ground up. And few towns in the North-east are more typical of this ability to endure the slings and arrows of outrageous economic fortune than Middlesbrough, which is where we at Scanman UK are proud to have our base.
It is towns like Middlesbrough that are shaking off that legacy of failing heavy industry, focusing instead on smaller manufacturing units, while remaining a stronghold for engineering based manufacturing and engineering contract service businesses. Politicians may talk blithely about their intention to build “Northern Powerhouses” but, when it comes down to it, it is companies like ours that are steadily and carefully growing their businesses in the face of stiff economic conditions.
What are the keys to Scanman's business success? First and foremost is our company's ability to grow its customer base. With our location at the very heart of the Riverside Park industrial estate in Middlesbrough, we are perfectly situated to meet the needs of all the surrounding businesses that require labels for their component parts. It is so much easier to create and maintain profitable business links with other companies if you can `pop around the corner' to engage with them! But thecompany has also focused on building strong business links with potential customers across the UK regardless of whether they are small, medium or large businesses.
Another factor is the growth in demand for Scanman's labels from within certain business sectors. Growth has been especially noticeable in the “pharmaceutical & healthcare” sector and the “drinks, food & retail” sector, where demand for our multi-colour labels has been remarkable.
Establishing a sound, trustworthy reputation is also key to Scanman's growth. Our commitment to caring for the environment and to maintaining the highest standards of quality and safety in our operations are evidenced by our FSC and BRC certifications.
Thanks to this background of strong and steady business growth, Scanman UK has been able to benefit job creation and training opportunities in Middlesbrough. In the last 12 months, we have recruited three young people as apprentices under the Government's Apprenticeship scheme. Under this scheme, they are paid to work alongside Scanman's experienced staff, gain job-specific skills and study for a qualification at Stockton Riverside College.
We've also taken on six new staff in this same period, resulting in our business now employing more than 25 staff in total. This growth in personnel has enabled us to improve our customer care services, upgrade our sales and account management, raise levels of production and efficiency, and boost quality, safety and operational criteria still further.
So in answer to the question “Is Scanman's business success good for job creation in Middlesbrough?”, the answer must surely be a resounding “Yes”. And let's not forget, it's importantthat job creation should not be merely about numbers. It is about creating quality jobs and at Scanman UK we believe we are doing just that!