Hanley based firm Goodwin lands cash boost to train new engineers
ENGINEERING group Goodwin has landed a Government grant to help it set up a training school for hundreds of new apprentices.
Business Secretary Vince Cable announced yesterday that the Hanley-based firm was among the first-round winners in the Employer Ownership Pilot Fund.
They are among 34 firms which will share an undisclosed slice of a £67 million pot.
Other winners include defence giant BAE Systems, which employs around 450 people at Radway Green, near Alsager, and Siemens, which employs 500 people in Congleton.
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Goodwin, which employs around 600 people in North Staffordshire, is planning to put its grant towards setting up a training school for 125 new engineering apprentices to reach a certain level every five years.
Chairman John Goodwin welcomed the news.
But he added the company's full expansion plans rely on two further bids for Government cash. He said: "This is excellent news, but we are still waiting to hear about our other bids.
"It does seem we are starting to see the Government pushing hell for leather for manufacturing exporters in select markets, which is very encouraging."
The Sentinel reported in July that Goodwin had bid for Regional Growth Fund cash to expand its Leek Road foundry as well starting a new valve company and building four office and factory units.
A third application has gone in for a Carbon Capture and Storage grant, which the firm would use to develop its manufacturing capability of two super nickel alloys for use in high temperature gas and steam turbines.
As well as sites in Hanley and Trentham, Goodwin also owns Dupre Minerals, in Newcastle, and Internet Central, in Keele. The group owns companies in countries including Brazil, China, India and Thailand.
News of its Employer Ownership Pilot Fund success came as the firm reported a jump in first-quarter sales and profits. Revenue for the three months to July 31 reached £30.4 million, up from £26 million during the same period last year, while pre-tax profit rose from £2.4 million to £3.7 million.
The EOP fund will hand out up to £250 million over two years, with more successful bidders being announced in October, and a further bidding round to be launched in the autumn.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "The breadth and scope of these projects show how central skills are to our long-term competitiveness, across all sectors and in all corners of the country."