TUC praises Forgemasters for ‘modern management’

Peter Birtles, Group Director at Sheffield Forgemasters with Bill Adams, TUC Secretary for Yorkshire and the Humber and Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the TUC
Peter Birtles, Group Director at Sheffield Forgemasters with Bill Adams, TUC Secretary for Yorkshire and the Humber and Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the TUC
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The general secretary of the Trades Union Congress paid a visit to Sheffield Forgemasters and praised the management’s modern approach to business.

The general secretary of the Trades Union Congress paid a visit to Sheffield Forgemasters and praised the management’s modern approach to business.

The international steel engineering company was host to the visit by Brendan Barber, accompanied by the TUC’s secretary for Yorkshire and Humber, Bill Adams, where they met with management and shop stewards to discuss the company’s combined strategies for employment and high-tech manufacture.

Mr Barber praised Forgemasters’ approach to leading the field in such a difficult market and paid compliments to the steps its management has taken to work with trade unions to establish a motivated and dedicated workforce.

Mr Barber said: “I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to tour this iconic plant and look at the work being done here. Sheffield Forgemasters is a hugely important manufacturer working at the leading edge of its industry.

“The management is constantly seeking new opportunities to take the business forward. What is really important to see is the value that this business places on cementing good relationships with trade unions and I have been pleased to meet both management and trade union colleagues during my tour.”

Forgemasters manufacturing skills continue to win key global contracts, tapping into the fastest growing hreavy engineering sectors and maintaining a market lead in niche products.

Peter Birtles, non-executive director of Sheffield Forgemasters, said: “The chequered past of British engineering means that over the years, trades unions and management have had a difficult time just trying to maintain dialogue.

“However, in this company, many of the shop floor staff are actually shareholders and this, along with heavy investment in training and apprenticeships, has helped to create a strong working relationship between trade unions and management with everyone focused on a stable future for the business and job security.”

Forgemasters has recently seen a host of industry award wins which includes the Apprentice Awards (Yorkshire and Humber) Large Employer of the Year and the Made in Sheffield Award.

Forgemasters is well positioned to further capitalise on the lucrative Brazilian oil and gas market after attending a UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) business mission to South America.

The UK engineering giant showcased its current and future capabilities to key players in the Brazilian oil and gas sector, including Petrobras and Shell, who learned about Forgemasters’ increasing role as a key exporter to South America’s largest country.

The UKTI UK Energy in Brazil: Oil & Gas Business Mission, organised with Aberdeen City Council and Scottish Development International, was designed to build on the UK’s highly-regarded reputation in the energy sector, and to assist UK companies in identifying and pursuing business opportunities in this high-growth market.

Forgemasters’ key objectives from the trip were to demonstrate its world class experience, gain strategic awareness about how the evolving Brazilian market, consider possible future opportunities and foster relationships with potential future business contacts.