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Training stalwart gets new leader

Thursday 29 November 2012 5:00

North East training firm SWDT has appointed a new chief executive who is aiming to garner more support for apprenticeships among the region’s businesses.

The Newton Aycliffe business has promoted former head of operations Charl Erasmus to the post of chief executive following the retirement of Ann Cant.

SWDT (South West Durham Training) is a 45 year old business and currently works with a range of businesses across the North East including Nifco, Tata Global Beverages, 3M and Tacle Seating.

Last year it opened a £3.6m centre which contains hi-tech equipment, including 3D laser scanners, laser cutters and flexible manufacturing stations which simulate the real-life business of manufacturing across a range of sub-sectors for students.

Mr Erasmus said his promotion to chief executive represented an opportunity for him to 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.”

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.