Sector News

James Sopwith, Group Strategic Account Director of leading West Midlands multi-disciplinary engineering firm, adi Group.

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

adi Group broadens sustainability debate at leading manufacturing expo 

The national conversation around sustainability is too narrow in its scope, an influential leader from one of the Midlands’ premier engineering firms has told a gathering of key industry figures.

Sustainability is a subject on everybody’s lips in business circles - and for good reason, with those working across many sectors increasingly doing their best to be sustainable.

But our terms of reference and, therefore, our actions around sustainability are too limited, warned James Sopwith, Group Strategic Account Director of leading West Midlands multi-disciplinary engineering firm, adi Group.

And he set out the business case for the much broader interpretation of sustainability that informs the firm’s strategic growth and skills objectives for the years ahead at the Made in the Midlands EXPO ’19.

James was a guest speaker at a seminar during the tenth anniversary edition of the UK’s largest regional manufacturing and engineering exhibition, held at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena on Thursday 20 June.

“People talk about carbon footprints and resource depletion, and rightly so,” said James. “Absolutely, we must take care of our climate and environmental responsibilities.

“People talk about the financial stability of our businesses, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If we don’t generate a surplus, we can’t reinvest in order to grow. If we lose money, we perish. But, there, the sustainability conversation tends to stop.

“However, we think there’s significant value, for everyone, in taking that conversation much further to introduce a range of interlinking, related ideas. We want to really open things up for discussion and for action. And we try to set an example.

“At the adi Group, we believe the conversation around sustainability is too narrow in its scope.”

The Birmingham-based firm, established in 1990, has long questioned conventional wisdom, incrementally developing over 30 expert specialisms in a challenge to the traditional UK engineering model of niche providers.

Not satisfied with meeting and exceeding its commitment, as a member of The 5% Club, to raising their number of apprentices on formal programmes to five per cent of total staff within five years, or with attaining the coveted Ecovadis Gold Accreditation that places it in the world’s top one per cent most sustainable and engaging employers, the adi Group does something unique.

Aiming to inspire young people to consider engineering as a career, the firm has teamed up with North Bromsgrove High School close to its Kings Norton HQ to give 14 to 16-year-olds hands-on experience in a real-life working environment.

The youngsters spend half a day per week over two years learning in-demand hands-on electrical and mechanical skills from adi’s own in-house mentors, while still completing their other GCSE curricula, earning themselves an EAL qualification and making significant headway towards a Level 2 attainment in electrical and mechanical engineering.

The pre-apprenticeship scheme, funded entirely by the firm, is three times oversubscribed and saw its inaugural 2016 intake graduate last year. Proof of the concept came when the group enrolled five of those 10 graduates onto its full-time apprenticeship programme.

Thinking more broadly about sustainability has paid dividends in other ways too. Consistent double-digit year-on-year growth means the adi Group now has a team of over 660 highly skilled employees working from 12 facilities across the UK and the Republic of Ireland self-delivering robust turnkey solutions to clients in almost every sector.

But the adi Group will not rest on its laurels. This is a business with serious long-term ambitions, intending, as James Sopwith puts it, to engineer a better future. The key to that lies in taking a broader view of sustainability.

“We need to evolve our thinking about sustainability. We should look at the long-term viability of the many bonds that hold us all together. As people, as communities, as a society and as an economy.

“As businesses, we must recognise our mutual dependency. Not simply with our clients and suppliers, but with everything and everybody we interact with.

“Our communities rely on us for job and wealth creation, for skills development and, to some extent, for identity. But, as businesses, we depend heavily on the communities, people and organisations around us for their skills and their energy, for resources, for infrastructure and for countless things more.

“We owe each other everything and we all share the same destiny. We have big responsibilities but that brings us big opportunities, if we engage with culture and people with real intent. We’re not talking about CSR as a simple tick-box exercise.

“We’re talking about inspiration as an aspiration. Inspiring our communities, inspiring our teams, inspiring the next generation of engineers we so badly need in this country. And, ultimately, inspiring ourselves to achieve more and to achieve it together.”

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

BTEC Awards 2021 - Launch

The BTEC Awards are an annual competition where the outstanding achievements of BTEC learners, teachers, schools and colleges around the world are...

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page