The good news about the UK labour market continues as the Welsh Government programme offering individual support to SMEs looking to grow and expand has created its 5000th job, Economy Secretary Ken Skates has revealed.
Business Wales’ Accelerated Growth Programme has been an enormous success since its inception in 2015, and reached the impressive milestone as Tiago Szabo, a factory operator for Wrexham based automotive design and manufacture company Hi-Mark, began work at the company’s 25,000sq ft site.
Economy Minister Ken Skates was at the factory to witness their growth and to meet Tiago. He said: “The Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme has been a real flag bearer for Business Wales and it’s fantastic to see that it’s now been directly responsible for some of our most ambitious and high potential SMEs creating 5000 new jobs across Wales. It’s a success story that’s testament to the Welsh Government’s proactive support for business and the hard work and expertise of the team there.”
But what’s special about this programme isn’t just the growth it drives in companies but also the impact that in turn it is having on individuals the length and breadth of Wales. The Economy Minister pointed out that these 5000 jobs may otherwise not have been created and it’s a source of great pride for him that they have been able to help people like Tiago into a job at a company with a proven track record of delivery that’s looking to the future with vision and confidence.
“Hi-Mark’s plans to invest in robotics and automation to drive efficiency and further growth are particularly exciting, with this the third such job we have supported there through this scheme. I would encourage businesses in Wales with strong ambitions to grow and expand to explore whether the Accelerated Growth Programme can help them too,” continued the Minister. “It was fantastic to meet Tiago and the hard working team at Hi-Mark today. Creating 5000 jobs is no mean feat, and, as I look to the future of the programme, I feel confident in predicting there will be many more milestones to come.”
Hi-Mark has been designing and manufacturing injection moulded products for over 40 years. The firm’s 40-strong workforce use cutting edge technology to manufacture products that are used by some of the largest automotive companies in the world.
Jack Yates, Managing Director of Hi-Mark commented, “The support we have received through the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme has been invaluable to us. It helped us through a tricky negotiation phase with a major customer, resulting in us securing a significant order which we may not otherwise have been in a position to win.”
Having access to a highly-respected sales specialist meant they were able to set up a new framework for the way we approach sales and networking. Even though it’s early days of adopting these new ways of working, the results speak for themselves.
“I’m delighted that we are the company responsible for creating the 5000th job, which is a great honour for our team. Tiago is settling into the team really well so far and we are confident that our team will continue to grow over coming months,” said Mr Yates, “I would strongly encourage other businesses looking for support to apply for the programme. Since signing up Hi-Mark has gone from strength to strength, and I’m very grateful for all the help we’ve received.”