SMEs offered sneak-peek at BAE Systems’ latest technology in productivity drive

North West manufacturing and engineering businesses have a unique opportunity to look inside BAE Systems’ state-of-the-art training centre later this month, to see how the latest technology and engineering could benefit their own organisations’ productivity.


On 28 September, small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) are invited to attend an exclusive event at the Academy for Skills and Knowledge at Samlesbury, Lancashire as part of a the region’s ‘Productivity through People’ (PtP) programme. Here, SME leaders will have the chance to learn more about how they can enhance their productivity by accessing cutting edge knowledge, best practice and innovative technology used by some of the industry’s giants. Led by academics from the globally-renowned Lancaster University Management School with support from BAE Systems, Siemens and Rolls-Royce; Productivity through People has already delivered benefits to many participants of the programme’s pilot launched at the start of this year. Due to its success, businesses can apply to be part of a second cohort due to begin in December 2017, and other parts of the UK are looking to replicate the initiative.


During the event, Richard Baker from ‘Be the Business’, and the Associate Dean at Lancaster University Management School, Professor Nigel Lockett, will provide insight into the nation’s productivity problem and how some of the UK’s leading lights in industry are coming together to help solve the productivity puzzle – through incentives such as Productivity through People. Participants will get an opportunity to tour the state-of-the-art equipment within the Academy – used to design, engineer and manufacture some of the most advanced technology in the world. Equipment includes a futuristic manufacturing robot capable of accuracies of 0.2mm, and the Virtual Reality Cave used as a simulated learning environment.


Richard Baker is Transition Director for ‘Be the Business’ – the organisation launched by the Productivity Leadership Group, run by the UK’s most senior business leaders. He said: “We all know productivity is a problem at a national level and a key part of the solution is embedding better management practices. The coalition behind the Productivity through People initiative has invested over £9m to date to energise a business-led response to the issue, and over the next three years we aim to encourage over 50,000 businesses to take action to improve their level of productivity.”


Professor Nigel Lockett from Lancaster University Management School said: “Small and medium sized businesses are key to improving the UK’s productivity and, through PtP, those in the North West have a unique opportunity to get involved in a collaborative effort to bring about significant change. This programme offers entrepreneurs and SME leaders the chance to find out about the latest thinking and developments in industry, to build networks, establish mentors, empower their employees and transform their learning into improvements to their bottom lines, and with it, boost the region’s economy.”


The event is free to attend and will take place between 6pm – 8.30pm on 28 September 2017 at the Academy for Skills and Knowledge, within the Enterprise Zone in Samlesbury. The Productivity through People programme is currently recruiting 24 key decision makers for a 5 December 2017 start. Due to investment from the industrial partners, Lancaster University and the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership; the cost of the programme is heavily subsidised and SMEs are only required to pay a nominal fee of £2,500 per delegate.


There is full programme of preview sessions for delegates interested in finding out more about PtP. These will be held on:

  • 20thSeptember at Lancaster House Hotel. Includes Masterclass with Juergen Maier, Chief Executive Officer, Siemens UK at Lancaster University Management School
  • 28th September at BAE Systems’ Academy for Skills and Knowledge, Enterprise Zone, Samlesbury
  • 10th October at the Abbey House Hotel, Barrow. Includes talk by Mike Henry, Head of Operations, Siemens Subsea
  • 25th October at Lancaster University. Includes Productivity Panel discussion with leading industry experts, academics and regional SMEs.

To attend any event, or to find out more about Productivity through People, call 01524 510728, email [email protected]  or visit



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