A LEADING North-East training provider that specialises in courses for the engineering and manufacturing has confirmed the appointment of a new boss.

SW Durham Training (SWDT) in Newton Aycliffe, which recently celebrated its 45th anniversary, has appointed Charl Erasmus as chief executive.  Mr Erasmus, previously SWDT’s head of operations, replaces former chief Ann Cant who recently retired.

Mr Erasmus has worked at SWDT since 2007, and has overseen a number of major developments including the build of the company’s multi-million-pound CORE facility which opened in November 2011.  The £3.6m centre contains hi-tech equipment, including 3D laser scanners, laser cutters, rapid prototyping machines, routers, highly automated manufacturing systems, CNC simulators, lathes and millers and flexible manufacturing stations which simulate the real-life business of manufacturing across a range of sub-sectors for students.

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Mr Erasmus said his promotion to chief executive represented an opportunity for him to make sure the organisation caters for the demands and needs of industry, and attract even more people to pursue a career in engineering and manufacturing, as well as encouraging businesses to get behind apprenticeships and the training and development of existing employees. 

He said: “SWDT has a really important role to play in developing the North East’s skills base in manufacturing and engineering and I believe that there is a genuine opportunity for us to drive forward growth in this area. It will be critical for us to do this in a customer focused and responsive manner.”

“The excellent reputation we have managed to build over the past 45 years has been hard-earned and it is down to results – time and time again, those who have passed through our centre have risen to the top of national and international businesses and this is down to innovative and industry specific teaching.  I am absolutely committed to ensuring that we remain at the cutting edge, strengthening our links and relationships with education and industry and making sure that engineering and manufacturing is at the forefront of the region’s economy in the future.”

As part of his growth strategy, Mr Erasmus is completing a company restructure and has appointed a business development manager who will be responsible for developing a sales strategy to attract more business.

He added: “It is absolutely critical that we put in place a strategy to grow SWDT.  With the facilities and team we have here, I really do believe we could make this a recognised centre of innovation and excellence and, though we’re a not for profit organisation, if we want to be here for another 45 years, the time to grow our footprint is now. 

“It’s an exciting challenge and one I am committed to seeing through.”

SWDT currently works with a range of businesses across the North East including Nifco, Tata Global Beverages, 3M and Tacle Seating."

For more information about courses at South West Durham Training, visit www.southwestdurham.co.uk or call 01325 313 194.