One of the region’s leading industrialists has announced his intention to step down from his post, concluding a three-year reign at the helm of a key manufacturing support group.
Chief executive Simon Griffiths will leave the West Midlands Manufacturing Consortium (WMMC), which delivers the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) in the region, to take up a role in the private sector.
The announcement brings to an end a term that has seen the former Land Rover and GKN employee play an instrumental role in successfully bidding for the new national MAS contract that is now helping thousands of SME manufacturers in England to grow and create jobs.
Mr Griffiths said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at MAS and have been delighted with the significant contribution it has made in assisting manufacturers in challenging economic conditions.
“The organisation is entering the next phase of its development, and having successfully started up the new contract and shaped its enhanced offer, I felt it was the right time to seek another challenge outside of the business. I am currently considering a number of offers.”
He continued: “I’m confident that MAS is in an excellent position to continue its evolution and I fully expect it to deliver the type of support our SME manufacturing businesses require and deserve.”
Mr Griffiths leaves with the news that manufacturers in the West Midlands are bucking economic trends. A total of 43 per cent of respondents to the latest MAS National Barometer revealed that they had seen orders grow in the last six months with 45 per cent anticipating a further upturn.
A third of the companies surveyed are looking to create new jobs, 49 per cent are expecting the size of their workforce to stay the same and 85 per cent are looking to boost their turnover through exporting in the next 18 months.
WMMC’s Lorraine Holmes said: “The board would like to thank Simon for his hard work since he joined in 2009 and, in particular, his role in successfully bidding for the new national Manufacturing Advisory Service contract with our three partners. We wish him all the very best for the future.”
WMMC has begun the search for a replacement chief executive, with Lorraine Holmes taking over at the helm of the business in the interim.