An electrical contractor is eyeing more international work after becoming involved in a project at the global motor racing series Formula E.
Leeds-based BCS Electrics is helping install a structure, which houses a demonstration area featuring the latest electric cars from Jaguar and BMW, at each Formula E race.
Formula E is hosting events across the world and BCS secured the work after being contacted by Cleckheaton-based design engineer XKX Projects.
Dean Towers, managing director of BCS Electrics, told The Yorkshire Post that the company’s involvement in the project began after he hired electrician Ian Pearce.
He said: “We received a phone call from a company called XKX Projects in Cleckheaton. They said do you have Ian Pearce working for you?”
XKX has previously worked with Mr Pearce abroad and wanted him to get involved on their project for Formula E.
Mr Towers said: “He goes to a site for nine days every month to a different destination and he helps to build a prefabricated building. He does that as part of the team.
“Then he basically puts a plug and play system in place for all the electrics and power. Then he’s on call during the race so if anything goes down for that particular client, he goes in and sorts it out.”
Mr Pearce also did some work at the London 2012 Olympics. Mr Towers said that the work at Formula E is “the only thing we’re doing abroad at this moment in time”.
He added: “We like working nationwide but if we can get into different countries and have different experiences that would be great.”
The company does all the “electrical parts” to XKX’s stands and then remains on call throughout the event in case of any issues.
At the end of each race, BCS helps take the structure down before moving onto the next event.
The company hopes to send even more of its staff to work with XKX, Mr Towers said.
The managing director says the company has seen sales grow and the plan is to continue to expand.
Mr Towers said: “The plan for the future is expansion. We’re going to be finishing this year on £3m, which is £500,000 up from last year.
“We are reinvesting in the company. We’re just coming up to the end of our financial year and we’re going to be sitting down and look to see what’s happening.”
He added that the firm was eyeing new vehicles for its electricians and was also hoping to win new clients.
The food and drink industry is an area that Mr Towers is looking into because the “industry is always changing” and constantly needs “updating”.
However, the greatest barrier to growth is a shortage of talent, according to Mr Towers.
He said: “The greatest challenge for us is not so much clients, turnover or profits.
“In our industry there’s a shortage of good quality electricians, good quality engineers. That for us is the only real thing that’s holding us back at this moment in time.”
Mr Towers believes that young people are not wanting to become electricians anymore.
He said: “They all want to be computer designers and sit in offices in trendy clothes.
“A lot of them don’t want to be wearing BCS regalia and working on sites.
“These posh modern offices that they’re all sitting in are the ones that contractors like us are getting ready for them.”
Apprentice turned owner
BCS Electrics was established in 1946 and has been through several changes in ownership.
Dean Towers and his business partner Tony Barnett acquired the firm four and a half years ago.
“We are the fourth owners of the business,” Mr Towers said.
Mr Towers himself joined the company in 1995 as an apprentice.
He held a couple of different jobs at the Leeds-based firm before taking over the business.
BCS employs 33 staff, based across Yorkshire. It has five apprentices at any one time.