Kodak staff put focus on showcasing skills

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More than 200 Kodak workers will be given an opportunity to impress other local manufacturers thanks to the Leeds Manufacturing Forum later this month.

Under the auspices of the Forum and the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), the half-day event on July 25 will allow Kodak staff to showcase their expertise and skills in front of the management teams of more than 30 businesses all seeking to recruit and fill positions within their companies.

The best practice visit will also bring people up to speed with the timescale of the closure, as well as giving them an insight into the different skillsets available, including engineers, estimators, operators, setters and quality specialists.

Earlier this year Kodak announced that its Leeds plant would close with the loss of 210 jobs as part of a global review of its operations. The Morley factory makes printing plates for the commercial printing industry, production of which will move to Europe and China.

US-based Kodak emerged from Chapter 11 restructuring last September, having filed in the US for bankruptcy protection in January 2012, reducing its head count and shedding unprofitable business units during the process.

Ahead of this month’s event, members of staff at Kodak have developed portfolios and will therefore be in a position to demonstrate first-hand the projects that have resulted in cost-saving exercises and solutions to manufacturing bottlenecks.

David Whiteley, manufacturing adviser at MAS, said: “Despite the recent news, the Kodak factory in Leeds is a great example of world class manufacturing performance. It has increased its capacity by 50 per cent over the last 15 years, while reducing lead times by 2/3, improving quality and more than doubling on-time delivery performance.”

He continued: “The 200-plus staff have played an essential role in this and part of the event is designed to give them a shop window to other local manufacturers who are growing and need experienced and skilled staff.”