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Electronics business shines in EEF Future Manufacturing Awards

Electronics business shines in EEF Future Manufacturing Awards

Bedford-based Bourns Ltd, a leading manufacturer of power semiconductors for the telecoms industry, has won a prestigious national business award for excellence in developing its people.

Bourns beat regional finalists from across the UK to win the national EEF Skills and Training Award, presented by sponsor Westfield Health at a gala dinner in London.

The company is a key division of the Bourns Electronics group, which is a significant player in the global market for electronic components and integrated solutions.

An exhaustive programme of skills development has given Bourns the resources to improve productivity and remain competitive in the telecommunications market. Bourns has achieved this by placing a greater value on the skills of its staff and revitalising a continuous improvement initiative to achieve a profit surge of more than 300 per cent in just one year.

In line with the company’s corporate goal to inspire the culture of continuous improvement across all its businesses, the UK operation aimed to educate its workforce to NVQ Level 2 in Business Improvement Techniques (BITs).

The final phase of training was completed in June 2011 which means manufacturing staff and technicians at Bourns – 79% of the workforce – are now fully qualified at this level. Implementing BITs has enabled the company to make improvements in the manufacture of product, streamline practices, and develop a culture of continuous improvement by improving quality, cost, and delivery.

The annual awards are hosted by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, and recognise excellence in enterprise, innovation, environmental performance and skills development among UK manufacturers.

Richard Halstead, EEF Regional Director, said: “Manufacturing is crucial to our region’s economic recovery.  Companies like Bourns are leading the way by improving the skills and qualifications of its workforce to drive productivity and competitiveness. Congratulations to them on this well deserved success.” 

Jill Davies, Chief Executive of Westfield Health, award sponsor, said: “The standard of the award submissions at this year’s EEF Future Manufacturing Awards was absolutely outstanding. It is very encouraging to read about so many companies that are continuing to innovate and excel across their business operations and we were delighted to have the opportunity to recognise the exceptional achievements of the award winners.”  

Lynne Hobbs, Bourns HR/Payroll Advisor, said: “Bourns strongly believe in supporting education and training to continue the learning process and ensure the culture of continuous improvement is maintained.”

The judging panel, led by Cranfield University, praised Bourns’ achievements, stating: “We were impressed with the way Bourns demonstrated a clear, open and positive story about a fully engaged and valued workforce. The company has encouraged and empowered its people to take part in developing the business through continuous improvement. Clear and positive outcomes have prevailed for both employees and the business, linking to an increase in productivity and profit."

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