THE creation of more than 355 engineering jobs in North Yorkshire in three years and the promise of 250 more to come in the region's manufacturing industry were highlighted during a ministerial visit yesterday.
Business Secretary Vince Cable visited four companies in North Yorkshire, with a specific focus on engineering in Ryedale.
After opening a new distribution facility at Harrogate based ventilation manufacturer Envirovent, which has created 60 jobs in the last year, Dr Cable was guest of honour at Pickering plastics specialist Rosti.
The company, previously operating as McKechnie Engineering Plastics before being bought out by Rosti in 2012, invited more than 100 customers and guests to its facility in Westgate Carr Road, to see a host of new robotic machinery following an investment of £18 million from its new owners.
The investment in the Pickering facility has increased Rosti’s manufacturing capabilities and the facility now boasts some of the most advanced injection moulding machinery in the UK and a brand new paint plant.
The North Yorkshire plant is a supplier to Jaguar Land Rover, as well as Ford and BMW, manufacturing a range of external plastic parts for their new Evoke, F Type and Discovery models.
Since being taken over two years ago the company's turnover has increased from £90million to £135 million, staff numbers have grown from 270 to 500, and with a further £12 million to be invested by 2016, 250 more jobs are set to be created, including 100 in the next 12 months.
Dr Cable, who was brought up in York, said: "From what I remember Pickering was a place for picnics and country walks. I never imagined I would come back here to see robotics and some of the most advanced technologies in the country.
"The car industry is a great success story in Britain, and this is a great company within that industry.
"One problem we have got is that although the industry is doing well we haven't got a very strong British supplier chain. It has been hollowed out.
"Only about 35 per cent comes from the UK. That's compared to Germany which sources around 50 to 60 per cent of its own products.
"Companies like Rosti selling to the British car trade is a great success story, and critical to what we want to see, but we have got to do a lot more."
After visiting Rosti, Dr Cable headed to Kirkbymoorside where he was shown around Marshall Slingsby Advanced Composites.
The firm, based in Ings Lane, designs and manufactures products for aerospace, defence, mass transit and energy supply industries.
Specialising in carbon and glass manufacturing, the business operates a number of processes to produce a range of products including fast jet helmets, rudders for submarines, gunshields, air-conditioning units for commercial airliners, and internal cockpit panels for military aircraft .
Dr Cable finished the day with a tour of Forum Subsea Technologies, also based in Kirkbymoorside, which employs a team of 265 in the design and manufacturing of remotely operated sub-sea vehicle and tooling systems.
Nigel Pickering, operations manager at the company, which used to trade as Perry Slingsby Systems before being bought out by Forum Energy Technologies, said: "We have got a full order book covering the next 12 months, which is the first time we have ever had such a large pipeline of work.
"We export around 85 per cent of our sales, and the majority of our forward orders are going to oil developments in Brazil.
"In the last two months we have received orders from Nigeria for four vehicles, and following a 40 per cent rise in revenue margins and an increase of 65 staff in three years, we are looking to expand further."