CBE+ has evolved since 2016 when CEO’s Marie Cooper and Chris Brown began uniting four businesses based in Chesterfield to offer customers a more integrated supply chain. The business has engaged in various projects to promote STEM throughout Chesterfield and Sheffield including being headline sponsors at Get Up to Speed for the fourth year running in 2020.
Today, Marie was interviewed by the project organisers, she explained why the business is supporting and promoting the new initiative.
She began “Both Chris and I have backgrounds based on working our way up the ranks, Chris as an engineer and myself in finance. We have both took routes learning on the job and developing our experience to gain educational qualifications. We agree this route has given us both our strong foundations to get us where we are today.”
“Ten years ago, we were instigators in setting up a successful apprenticeship programme and have since worked with schools, colleges and young people to help them develop and enhance their employability skills. We believe the key to this was engaging with them on projects, recognising their strengths and how experiences develop certain strengths like confidence, resilience and commitment.”
“Most of the young people we have met, do not know what they want to do because they do not know the extent of what careers are available and are not fed the ideas which should inspire them to take a certain path. They can only get so much career advice from within schools and parents, so it is up to us as businesses to showcase what those opportunities are, to engage with them, talk to them and show them.”
The manufacturing sector generally has a gap in employment, where generations of people have not engaged in engineering careers. CBE+ recognised this, Marie explains how the business tackled the issue, “We had an aging workforce until bringing in the apprentice programme, bringing in new fresh ideas and asking why made our team who had been doing the job for many years ask themselves the question, why do we do it that way.”
“In a lot of ways, it brought new energy and life into the business, new ideas implemented in cohesion with years of experience has proved to work. Our business evolved, it changed, developed and modernised its thinking.”
CBE+ are members of many associations connecting businesses, Made in Sheffield, Midlands aerospace association, and workwise employer forum are just a few, Marie explains why “Engaging with other businesses has always been an important part of our business development. Every business is different and has different ways of doing things. Connecting with businesses and sharing best practice or even how not to do things is something we have benefiting from over several years. I think CBE+ is what it is today because of others been prepared to share their experiences and support.”
“Becoming a cornerstone business in Chesterfield is an opportunity for CBE+ to continue to do this with local businesses in this area. I am sure we have a lot to share that can be of benefit. But just as importantly we still have a lot to learn and are always open to new ideas to help us all be the best at what we do.”
“Supporting the young and helping them gain the skills they need to take their careers forward is helping the community create a pool of skills. This will help us enable succession for our businesses and see them thrive and develop into the future.”
She concluded “So it is up to us all to make this happen and protect our company future.”