Theresa May visits Xtrac facility

Xtrac welcomed the UK Prime Minister Theresa May to open its new manufacturing facility extension that will ultimately represent a £22m investment in UK manufacturing.

Peter Digby, president of Xtrac, showed the Prime Minister around the company’s premises, which operates 24 hours a day to create advanced gearboxes used by motorsports teams around the world and in hybrid and electric high-performance road cars.

The Prime Minister said, ‘Xtrac is a great example of how providing high quality apprenticeship programmes can help people to go on to have long-term and successful careers within the company that trained them. I am very pleased to be able to open this new facility which I hope will remain a leader in the manufacturing industry and inspire the next generation of engineers.’

Xtrac has won numerous awards for its apprenticeship and undergraduate training programmes with one in seven (14%) of its 350 employees having started with the company as apprentices or undergraduates. Indeed, the company’s first ever apprentice Simon Short who qualified 25 years ago remains with the company, holding a senior role in Xtrac’s North American operations.

Following the Prime Minister’s visit, Xtrac co-hosted 400 secondary school students from West Berkshire and North West Hampshire, as part of the government’s industrial strategy 2018 Year of Engineering initiative. The Festival of Engineering was co-hosted by local members of parliament Richard Benyon, who has represented Newbury since 2005, and Kit Malthouse from the neighbouring North West Hampshire constituency.

Taking part in a series of practical activities given by 18 businesses including Dyson, SSE, Ocado, Thames Water and Xtrac, the students learned about the inspiring career opportunities available by studying science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects at GCSE level and above.