Recruitment specialist Jackson Hogg is hosting a world class panel of industry experts at an event showcasing the best of North East engineering and manufacturing.

The question and answer session is being held as part of EMCON 2018 – the Engineering and Manufacturing Convention – held later this month in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

More than 1,000 visitors and 100 exhibiting companies are due to celebrate the sectors’ diversity and innovation and attracts both regional and national companies.

The panel is made up of respected business experts and innovators Brian Palmer, James Ritchie, Matt Boyle, Elaine Greenwood and Andy Ramsey. They will discuss their experiences and reveal how they achieved in the session Navigating Growth – Is Your Business Ready for Expansion?

Richard Hogg, Managing Director of Jackson Hogg Recruitment, who is compering the breakaway event, said: “I’m really excited to be involved with such talented business people who are willing to impart their valuable experience and knowledge to benefit others in the industry.

“It’s important to share our expertise and ideas to help grow other North East businesses and in turn strengthen the region’s economy.”

Panel member Brian Palmer, Chief Executive of Northumberland-based Tharsus, makers of advanced machines and robots said: “I’m pleased to be taking such an active role in EMCON 2018 which promotes the talent and innovation of North East engineering and manufacturing.”

The entrepreneur, who is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, added: “It provides companies with an opportunity to network, share ideas and instils confidence in the capabilities of North East industry.

“EMCON also highlights the very real and exciting opportunities available to young people in the region as it is vital we retain their future talents.

The other members of the panel are James Ritchie, who is CEO of Tekmar Group PLC of Newton Aycliffe, which is a market leader in subsea cables, umbilical and pipe protection systems. He grew the business to a record turnover in 2017 and is the youngest CEO of a UK-listed company.

Matt Boyle is the former CEO of Gateshead-based Sevcon, which he transformed into a multi-million pound electrical engineering business before it was sold last year to BorgWarner for £150m. He is now Chief Executive Officer at Collingwood Solutions ltd.

Elaine Greenwood is UK Light Rail Representative for Stadler Rail UK. The Swiss railway rolling stock manufacturer has grown from a company with just 18 employees in 1989 to a staff of 7,000 with offices across five continents. At the end of the 2017 financial year, turnover at Stadler Rail stood at $2.5bn USD, with forecasts predicting further growth to $4bn by 2020.

Andy Ramsey is the founder and Managing Director of AR Controls. AR Controls supplies control panels and electrical design, inspection and testing services to major manufacturers, including Caterpillar and Nissan. Having recently completed a £600,000 expansion at its Sunderland site, Andy is looking to expand the company further by increasing its headcount by a third over the next two years.

EMCON 2018 is being held in the Xcel Centre on October 18 and includes a number of events providing advice on entering new overseas markets, supply chain opportunities and funding for digital projects.

It also sees the return of the Incubator Zone, aimed specifically at micro and small businesses in County Durham, and Education Zone which offers an opportunity for engineering students to meet potential employers.

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