THE Isle of Man Aerospace Cluster (IOMAC) recently reached its fifth anniversary as a member of the UK’s North West Aerospace Alliance (NWAA).
Laurence Skelly MHK who has political responsibility for manufacturing within the Department of Economic Development said:
‘The Isle of Man Aerospace Cluster supports virtually every current civil and defence aerospace project in the world, demonstrating the success that the Cluster has enjoyed during its 5 year relationship with the North West Aerospace Alliance. As one of the leading industrial clusters in Europe, our relationship with the North West Aerospace Alliance has been vital in driving the success of the Island’s aerospace manufacturing sector.’
Aerospace has been one of the Island’s economic success stories in recent years with the numbers employed among Isle of Man Aerospace Cluster members growing by over 30% over the past 8 years with the aerospace sector contribution to GDP growing by 25% during the same period. With order books looking healthy there are significant job opportunities within the sector for the foreseeable future. Nearly 400 new employees will be required by 2021 to meet the requirements of the industry.
Adrian Moore is the Department’s Business Development Manager for Manufacturing and acts as the IOMAC Chair. He commented on some of the ways in which the NWAA had supported this growth:
‘Our relationship with the NWAA over the past 5 years has given our members direct access to one of the most dynamic and important aerospace clusters in Europe, which has been especially beneficial for our smaller member firms. For example, being part of the NWAA stand at the Farnborough International Airshow, the largest aerospace trade event in the world, cost-effectively delivered significant return on investment for us.’
‘NWAA have also been highly supportive of our quality management programme, ‘Journey to Process Excellence’ (JTPE), which is being rolled out across the member firms. This has already delivered significant benefits to those who have undertaken JTPE with several more due to begin the programme shortly.’
To help people find out more about these opportunities, IOMAC members are supporting the 2013 Engineering and Manufacturing Sector Careers event, which is being held at the Isle of Man College, Douglas on 19th March.
The IOMAC has recently been reinforced by the addition of a 20th member. Adrian Moore continued:
‘We are delighted to announce that our 20th member is Manx Precision Optics Ltd, a newly established manufacturing company formed by Dr Helmut Kessler, a well-known figure within the industry in the Isle of Man. This will reinforce our capabilities in being able to deliver cost-effective, joined-up precision manufacturing solutions to our global blue-chip client base.’
David Bailey, Director of Operations for the North West Aerospace Alliance said:
‘The Isle Of Man Aerospace Cluster has developed highly effective relationships and synergies across the Island’s aerospace sector to enable real collaboration to take place. The success of this can be seen in the projects that have been undertaken to drive the industry forward in areas such as apprentice training and joint purchasing. The unique aspect of the Isle of Man Aerospace Cluster is the compact geography of its members along with a pragmatism that turns talk into action.’
Information on IOMAC and its members plus details of local job opportunities can now be found on the new version of its website at www.aerospace.co.im. Designed by a local firm consistent with the ‘Isle of Man, Where You Can’ branding, the new site is also mobile phone and tablet friendly.