People: Manufacturing Technology Centre to recruit 100; Senior hire for testing firm; and more

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The Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry is inviting engineers of the future to explore the latest apprenticeship opportunities available at its Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre.

In the first live apprentice open evening since the beginning of the pandemic, the MTC is looking to recruit nearly 100 apprentices for its employer partners across the country.

Based at the AMTC, on the MTC campus at Ansty Park, the MTC is already making a significant contribution towards closing the skills gap that threatens the UK’s manufacturing sector, having trained 500 apprentices since 2017.

This year, the centre plans to recruit around 100 new apprentices on behalf of some of the UK’s top engineering and manufacturing businesses, with training starting next September.

The open event will be held on Thursday, November 18 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm.

David Hughes, managing director of MTC Training, said: “Our purpose is to seed the manufacturing sector with a pipeline of future-proofed engineering technicians. Employers can maximise their levy spend with our programmes, giving them a genuine return on investment and business impact while ensuring they become increasingly globally competitive. The open evening gives potential apprentices the chance to find out everything they need about our programmes before they apply.”

The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers.

The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy. The MTC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK.


Eurofins Digital Testing, formerly Edge Testing Solutions, has appointed Ruth Beeden as head of account management for UK systems.

She will be responsible for the positioning of a suite of service offerings, including the NextGen Engineering Assurance Framework, to support clients with their strategic initiatives.

Beeden said: “I am delighted to be offered this opportunity to be part of the Eurofins’ journey to sell stronger and more compelling managed service propositions to our clients. My experience of working with many industries in the UK;  having a passion for achieving service excellence and delighting clients in getting fantastic outcomes is why I am excited to be part of this brilliant team.”

Beeden has worked in the IT industry for the past 20 years as a lead consultant and service delivery executive for companies including Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays, DTI, DVLA and the Home Office.




The Birmingham Botanical Gardens has welcomed eight new trustees as it looks forward to a new chapter in its 189-year history.

The registered charity, which is based in Westbourne Road, Edgbaston, has appointed trustees with a variety of expertise who will help to lead the organisation, which is one of the country’s most important botanical gardens.

James Wheeler, chief executive of the Gardens, said: “It’s wonderful to welcome these eight new Trustees who will support the Gardens over the next few years as we work to fulfil our obligations of conserving and safeguarding this amazing green space in the city.

“We have exciting plans for the future and it’s wonderful to see so many talented people who want to play a leading role in the work we do.”

The eight trustees are:

Fiona Taylor – chief executive officer of Garden Organic, a charity that brings together thousands of people believe organic growing is essential for a healthy and sustainable world. Her background is in communications and campaigning, in particular, championing the UN Sustainable Development Goals covering issues such as fuel poverty, urban greening, deforestation and conservation.

Pamela Smith – a horticulturalist with more than 35 years’ experience in public parks, botanic and historic gardens and is a former director of Winterbourne, vice chair of PlantNetwork and CABE Space scholar. She is the National Trust’s senior advisor on gardens, parklands, horticulture and garden history.

Robyn McAllister – the head of major giving at national youth charity Street League. She has previously worked for organisations including Girlguiding and Phoenix Futures and specialises in high-value fundraising.  A new Birmingham resident, she was previously co-chair of Trustees of a local mental health charity.

Aikta Varma – the group financial controller at West Bromwich Building Society. She is a  chartered accountant with 15 years’ experience, having qualified at KPMG where she spent 10 years predominantly auditing financial services clients.

Lanre Lawal-Fatukasi – senior legal counsel at HSBC UK Bank plc. A practising solicitor with more than 16 years’ experience, her previous roles include sole legal counsel at Wesleyan Assurance Society and managing counsel at Nationwide Building Society. Lanre is also a Governor at Bleakhouse Primary School.

Rob Macpherson – marketing, communications and brand strategy expert, Rob has run the Impakt consultancy, a sister company of web designers Substrakt, since 2019. He formerly led marketing, communications and fundraising for subsidised and commercial touring at the Birmingham Hippodrome and led an extensive community programme. Recent arts, education and charity clients include The Royal Court; Leicester Haymarket; CORE Education Trust; Dance Woking, and Birmingham Ormiston Academy.
Heidi Leung – a senior education advisor for FFT Education Ltd, a leading non-profit organisation.  A key part of her advisor role is to ensure she keeps abreast of national education changes and their impact on school improvement strategies. Heidi also serves as a Trustee for a West Midlands-based multi-academy trust.

Diana Wardle – Diana is a chartered accountant with many years’ experience of running the finance departments of various companies in the private and voluntary sector. Her role at the Gardens is  Company Secretary.