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Westwood Works 1903-2003

The Teaching Company Scheme

Baker Perkins' position as one of the country's leading engineering training establishments meant that it was among the first to take-up any new initiative in this field. A number of examples are addressed elsewhere in this website, another being the Teaching Company Scheme. This was launched in the mid-1970s by the DTI and DES in response to a perceived on-going shortage of top engineers in industry.

The basis of the Scheme was the linking of a University and a post-graduate student with a company in order to investigate and then propose a solution to a current company problem in design, manufacturing, marketing, etc. A Central Directorate was established and Regional Officers appointed, each being a highly-qualified engineer.

The objective was to bring a new approach to bear on company problems, drawing on the latest academic thinking to support new recruits (Potential M.Sc. graduates, known as TC Associates) who would go on to join the company on the completion of their project. The cost was shared between the TC Directorate, the University and the company. A management board was established for each scheme consisting of representatives from all three parties.

The first Teaching Company Programme at Baker Perkins began in 1982 with Professor Roy Sury of Loughborough University and tackled manufacturing problems such as a new computer-controlled steel stores facility, foundry quality and output, etc. Some 15 TC Associates were involved in this Scheme between 1982 and 1989.

In March 1986, a Teaching Company Programme was set up with Professor Steve Parkinson of Henley, The Management College (later with Bradford University) to look at aspects of Marketing, both at Westwood and at Stoke. Later, the work being done in Food Science and Engineering at Leeds University on the chemical processes and reactions during dough preparation were considered to be a great interest to the Bakery Division at Westwood. A Teaching Company Programme was set up under the guidance of Professor Geoffrey Hazeldene, with John Borrell B.Sc. as the TC Associate.

Most of the results from these Programmes were considered to be beneficial to the Company, with the majority of the TC Associates accepting employment after their M.Sc. successes.

The Loughborough/Manufacturing TC Associates were : Ian Barratt, Jonathan Clegg, Roger Dowding, Matthew Geake, Richard Hadfield, "Alfie" Hirji, Shane Lancaster, Andy Marshall, Steven Moverlay-Brown, Adrian Northcott, Peter Slater, T. Smith, Andy Walton, Steve Wilcher and Mike Wilkinson.

The Bradford/Marketing TC Associates were : Adrian Wright, Phillip Walker, Nimet Hirji, Julian Ransom and Huw Thomas.

1989: Teaching Company Dinner programme

1989: Loughborough University/Baker Perkins Manufacturing Teaching Company Programme Associates and Company managers with Professor Sury

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