Speaking at a Teesside University business event, Bryan Bunn, founder of Nortech, said there was a shortage of skilled engineers and called on companies in the region to support its young people through training and apprentices.
Bryan Bunn, founder of Nortech.
Nortech has grown its workforce from four to 85 - in just two-and-a-half years. It won New Business of the Year at The North East Business Awards earlier this year and Mr Bunn was shortlisted in North East Executive of the Year.
Mr Bunn, who began his working life as an ICI pipe fitter apprentice in Billingham, made the plea at Teesside University’s Business Exchange in Darlington.
He said: 'Engineers are an ageing workforce – yet they are increasingly in demand.
'We need to support young people in the North East through apprenticeships, and by taking on graduates, to give them the high level of skills we need as employers.
'The apprenticeship I began when I was 16 put me on the path to becoming an engineer and eventually setting up my own company.'
Mr Bunn went on to say that he has taken on two apprenticeships, and four Teesside University Engineering graduates, and intends to recruit more annually.
He himself graduated with an MBA from Teesside University as a mature student.
Mr Bunn said: 'As I rose up the ranks I really felt the lack of a degree. Studying at Teesside University taught me a lot – not least the value of my own experience.
'One of the core values of my business is training and development and that should be at the heart of any successful enterprise.'
The Business Exchange is a monthly event for senior business leaders in the region featuring a high-profile national or regional business speaker who shares their business knowledge. This is followed by a question and answer session and networking time.
25 November 2013