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Interims could be key to HS2 contracts


Manufacturing and engineering businesses could benefit by outsourcing the expertise needed to get their companies ready for HS2, claim Jonathan Lee Recruitment.




The company say that the HS2 rail, automotive and energy supply chains are among the many sectors planning growth and investment. Manufacturing companies are also diversifying to adapt their business models to new market opportunities, which are expected to bring jobs and investment to the region, according to the agency.




Simon Roberts, associate director at Jonathan Lee interim management, explained, “The Midlands Engine project plan, HS2 and the Energy Systems Catapult all paint an exciting picture for manufacturing supply chains, but the reality can be daunting, especially for SMEs. If they want to compete for the billions of pounds worth of contracts and access the funding streams available to support business growth and innovation, it requires expertise that some organisations simply do not have in-house.




“At our recent roundtable with Made in the Midlands, it emerged that Midlands business are very excited by the opportunities coming from HS2, but concerned about the resources needed to meet procurement criteria, such as accreditations.




“Areas such as tender writing, accessing grants and funding, development of management and process control systems, accreditations in quality, health, safety and environmental performance, often a pre-requisite for Government-funded initiatives, can be a drain on time and resources at a time when most managers are focused on business critical functions.” 




Jonathan Lee Recruitment say that the HS2 transport project is expected to provide direct transport benefits and also a range of new supply chain business opportunities for local businesses. According to the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, HS2 is seen as a “game changer” for many potential suppliers.




It is prompting businesses to see if they can access funding for capital expenditure to cover the development and application of advanced technology and innovative processes, plus the related upskilling and training of staff to help them become HS2 supply chain procurement ready.




Roberts added, “Interims are expected to be in high demand as the region’s businesses rise to the challenge of competing for these future opportunities. While only engaged for a short time they can make a big difference especially to smaller business hoping to benefit from the diverse range of growth opportunities emerging in the Midlands region.”



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