Thirty new jobs created in Sheffield’s manufacturing sector

Thirty new jobs created in Sheffield’s manufacturing sector

25 July 2016

Photo: David Birch, Managing Director, at Advanced Engineering Techniques factory based in Halfway

Thirty new jobs have been created in Sheffield’s manufacturing sector following a grant from Sheffield City Region.

The new employees were hired at Advanced Engineering Techniques (AET), based in Halfway, Sheffield.  The privately owned SME created local jobs for the unemployed plus staff promotions and new senior management positions.

Established in 1989, AET specialises in laser cutting, machining and fabrications, supplying sectors such as bus and coach, road freight, yellow goods, offshore platforms, lifting equipment and security sectors.

The expansion of AET’s manufacturing capacity and the improvement of the factory layout to create additional space was made possible thanks to a grant from the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) of £99,000. This formed part of a £450,000 total investment.

David Birch, Managing Director of AET, said: “The grant from the LEP funding has allowed us to take on 30 new employees, buy two new robots which run 24 hours a day and change the layout of the factory, all helping to increase turnover by 25%.

“The grant has been great for our SME as we have been able to take on more work with existing customers as well as bringing in a new customer, thanks to our extra members of staff and new machines. We have also been able to export to the Far East, something we hadn’t done before.

“I suppose the best thing about the grant is that we haven’t had to miss the opportunities we have been given due to a lack of staff and machines, or even, the money to buy new machines. It has helped us think outside the box in terms of development as well.”

The funding also helped to free up some of AET’s budget to provide further training of their staff.

David continued: “The funding, which we’ve used on the factory layout and to buy machinery, has enabled us to use some of our budget to provide further training of our staff. For example, we have sent a couple of employees to the University of Sheffield, we have had half a dozen staff doing a basic management course, and then, another manager and I have done an MBA at the University of Derby. Training is important to us here at AET - 60% of our employees have received a qualification whilst they’ve been working for us, usually an NVQ level 2 or 3.

“We also have a number of apprentices and students on work experience from the local schools working with us. We provide them with vital training and many of them continue to work for us - we find it’s a good way of bringing people in.”

The company has around 190 members of staff currently, including permanent, seasonal and contract workers. In the future, they plan to buy additional premises to expand the business and increase the number of employees to 250-300 in the next ten years.

Nigel Brewster, Vice Chair of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said: “AET is another successful example of one of the 52,000 SMEs in the Sheffield City Region driving our pragmatic and community-based work ethic. One of the LEP’s core aims is to increase jobs in the region, partly through investment and partly through skills training. One of the ways we do this is by bringing people, public sector and business closer together.

“Thriving businesses such as AET unlock the region’s economic potential as well as build valuable international networks. The LEP Board would like to congratulate all those at AET who have contributed towards the growth of the business and the benefit this brings to our region.”

To find out more about Advanced Engineering Techniques Ltd, visit their website at

This privately owned SME received Regional Growth Fund grants, which came from the LEP’s Unlocking Business Investment programme.

For more information about Sheffield City Region LEP visit

The Regional Growth Fund has now ceased, but for any public or private company wanting to access funding can now go to Sheffield City Region Growth Hub website at

The Sheffield City Region Growth Hub offers access to business support, working collaboratively with regional and national support programmes, as well as working with local authorities and private sector businesses to ensure consistent access to the best advice across the region.

The Growth Hub, which has core funding of £4.82m, acts as a ‘gateway’ for businesses to access specialist support in a number of key areas to enable growth, including innovation, exporting, accessing finance and training.

The Growth Hub can be contacted on 03330 00 00 39, emailing  or visit

Have a business idea or wanting to set up your own company? You can get free and impartial advice to help you set up and grow your business here in Sheffield. Contact Business Sheffield on 0800 043 5522 to learn more.