Halifax ceramics industry manufacturer to host international event

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One OF Calderdale’s best-known manufacturers is to host the next networking event in Leeds City Region’s We are International campaign next month.

Export issues, including offshore sourcing will be discussed at the event to be hosted by Parkinson-Spencer Refractories Ltd, (PSR), which makes refractories, and engineers products for the glass manufacturing industry worldwide, at the event at its premises on October 7.

Privately-owned PSR exports more than 90 per cent of its annual turnover to 85 countries with Russia, Saudi Arabia, USA, Mexico and India as its major markets.

The company, which has 90 staff, started sourcing engineering components and fabricated steelwork items five years ago to cut operational costs and remain competitive.

PSR, commercial purchasing manager, Godfrey Nield, a lead export ambassador in the Leeds City Region We are International campaign, will speak at the free event which is expected to attract about 30 novice exporters as well as members of the wider ambassador network.

He said: “Offshore sourcing means that the bottom line costs for manufacturing our systems has dropped significantly and plays a major role in keeping us competitive. We now also source minerals and diamond abrasives and cutters used in production. Offshore sourcing currently represents seven per cent of our component sourcing spend and is increasing.”

The event, which will also include a factory tour and a chance for novice exporters to seek advice from export ambassadors, is being organised by international trade specialist, Chamber International, Bradford, as the latest in a series of networking events providing practical support for new exporters as part of a Local Response Fund Capacity Building Project, a Skills Support for the Workforce Contract, managed by Leeds City College.

The Response Project benefits from £11.8m from the European Social Fund made available through the Skills Funding Agency to finance training for working people and aims to help SMEs, with fewer than 250 staff, in the ten local authority areas within Leeds City Region invest in developing the skills of their workforce.

Chamber International has already run a series of networking events over the last 18 months – backed by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s We are International Campaign – providing practical support for dozens of novice exporters and leading directly to overseas orders which aim to bring in an additional £1.6bn to the ten local authority areas and create thousands of jobs by 2018.