Economy Minister Nigel Dodds today announced Schrader’s £4.6 million investment in extensive staff training, research and development projects.
Schrader Electronics Ltd designs and manufactures devices which detect deflation in vehicle tyres and then displays this information through the dashboard to ensure the drivers safety.
The investment is aiming to encourage new product development and improve the skills of the workforce through a range of training initiatives, enabling it to increase lean manufacturing activities and improve overall plant efficiency. This will help Schrader to improve productivity and profitability, and satisfy the increasing demands of the global market.
Announcing the investment at the company’s Carrickfergus plant, the Minister said: “A focus on innovative product design and manufacturing is central to export success in highly technical markets.
“Schrader’s partnership with the third level education sector here is helping to increase its knowledge and capability in developing new solutions for clients, and differentiate it from competitors in low-cost economies.”
The Minister continued: “The staff training project is helping to improve Schrader’s performance and position in the Tomkins group. Investment in skills can help externally-owned firms to attract further investments from their parent companies and enhance Northern Ireland’s economic competitiveness in the long-term.”
The initiatives are developing staff expertise in key areas such as management, information technology, design, auditing, processes and operations. Schrader is also establishing new computer based training methods and internal training facilities such as designated training stations.
Schrader’s Managing Director, Stephen McClelland, said: “The introduction of new safety legislation in the United States in 2005 has led to a significant rise in demand for tyre pressure monitoring equipment. As we raise our production levels to meet this demand, it is crucial that we develop the skills of our staff in tandem to ensure high levels of process efficiency and cost competitiveness.
“Invest NI’s support for staff training programmes is pivotal to the achievement of our goals. It helps us to maintain existing customers such as Daimler Chrysler and Nissan, and compete for new business to increase our market share,” added Mr McClelland.
This project is part funded by the European Union's European Regional Development Fund.