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Award for partnership with automotive company


‌A partnership between the University of Wolverhampton and a leading automotive company to develop training opportunities has won a prestigious manufacturing award.‌

ZF Lemforder UK, a Darlaston-based manufacturer of components and systems for the automotive industry, worked with the University and Walsall College to develop an in-house training centre for staff.

The partnership recently won the Developing People Award at the regional EEF Future Manufacturing Awards. The award recognises manufacturers that have done the most to build skills, harness talent and develop employees.

The team will now go on to the national final in London in April.

Professor Ian Oakes, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “The University is delighted to be collaborating with such a world class automotive company.  ZF Lemforder UK Ltd has recognised the need to continually develop and upskill its employees and has embraced lifelong learning throughout the entire organisation.  This has had such a transformative impact on the company and its employees.”

Terry Somerfield, Managing Director from ZF Lemforder UK, said: “Skilled workers are important for companies to be successful. We are proud that we have developed together with the University of Wolverhampton an award-winning training programme for our employees. Our staff will continuously benefit from this cooperation.”

The aim of the partnership was to design and develop a Fundamental Skills Training Centre to upskill staff and support a transition in the company’s manufacturing methods.

A graduate from the University supported the development of the training centre, and additional help was provided by the Centre for Lifelong Learning and the Wolverhampton Business School.

The scheme was a success, with 208 employees completing the fundamental skills training at the Darlaston plant including 132 production staff.

Leadership development programmes were also successfully established for supervisors, junior managers and the senior management.


Picture: ZF Lemforder UK Ltd - Midlands Winner Developing People Award. (l-r)  Christian Warden, EEF Programme Director Engineering Skills Service; Sandra Perks, Training Centre Facilitator & Tim Kibble, Site Manager from ZF Lemforder UK Ltd  and EEF Midlands Region Director, Richard Halstead.

For more information please contact Vickie Warren in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736.

Date Issued: Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Notes to editors

About the University of Wolverhampton

  • Based at campuses in Wolverhampton, Walsall and Telford and education centres in Stafford, Burton and Birmingham City Centre, the University has 23,000 students and 2,400 staff. In addition, the University of Wolverhampton Science Park is home to tenant businesses and supports the development of innovative companies
  • The University welcomes students from around the world and has regional offices in China, Malaysia, India, Oman, Nigeria and Cyprus. It has a branch campus in Mauritius and courses are also delivered with global partners in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, Russia, France and Cyprus
  • It is investing £50 million over the next two years to redevelop its campuses in Wolverhampton city centre. This includes a new £22 million Science facility and a new £18 million University of Wolverhampton Business School building.
  • The institution’s excellent teaching and learning provision, which spans sciences, creative and performing arts, education, business and management, health and wellbeing, engineering and technology, law and social sciences, ensures 94% of graduates find employment
  • Of the 13 subject areas entered in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2014, all had elements graded at the highest level as being world class. The University also entered more staff and more subject areas for assessment than previously. 

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

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