Interns help manufacturers respond to coronavirus crisis

Fully-funded interns provided by Lancashire's EnginE programme have been helping the county's manufacturers to overcome the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

EnginE’s successful internship programme provides Lancashire-based manufacturing and advanced engineering SMEs with dedicated and fully-funded online support in areas including finance, data marketing, project management, HR and engineering.

Annette Suddes, EnginE project manager at Lancaster University Management School, said: "SMEs have the opportunity to approach us with specific problems and outline exactly what expertise they need. We can then match them to an intern who has specialist skills and can help them for a fixed period of time. This provides the intern with valuable experience while the business gets unique expertise and talent – without incurring costs.

"Remote working has rapidly become accepted practice during the Covid-19 pandemic, and I would encourage people to take advantage of the opportunity – those who have used our interns previously cannot speak highly enough of their contribution to their business."

Fleming & Howland, a specialist in design and manufacture of luxury British furniture, worked remotely with EnginE intern Matt Mottaghian over two months. The business was seeking new skills in marketing and e-commerce to give them an additional edge in their international sales. Matt, 28 and a Lancaster resident, completed an MSc in e-Business and Innovation last year and was able to help.

The intern gets valuable experience while the business gets unique expertise and talent

Managing director Paul Fleming said: "Matt brought a fresh perspective, taking control of our social media and e-commerce, and increasing confidence in our brand. Most of his work - pre-Covid-19 - was conducted remotely, and we met frequently online and collaborated remotely, which we continue to do. We have been so impressed we have offered him an ongoing role."

EnginE is part-funded by the European Social Fund, and is delivered in partnership with Blackburn College, Blackpool & Fylde College, the Northern Automotive Alliance, and in collaboration with Boost; Lancashire’s business growth hub, which means the support and advice businesses receive is fully-funded, and the programmes, masterclasses and resources available are often heavily subsidised. EnginE internships are available to Lancashire-based SMEs subject to specific eligibility criteria.

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