Introducing our MGN “Let’s Talk Talent” Panellists

On Tuesday 2nd July, NRG is hosting the Manufacturing Growth Network (MGN) “Let’s Talk Talent” event at SASMI in Sunderland – and we’re delighted to reveal our keynote speaker and panel line up of industry experts who will be discussing how they’re tackling skills shortages, talent attraction and retention, upskilling, and building a gender balanced workforce.


Keynote Speaker: Richard Bradley, Finance Director, Dyer Engineering

The story of Dyer Engineering is one of a business with family values at its heart and passionate about what they do and looking after their employees and customers. To date they have employed in excess of 500 people across their 40-year history and have people in their team who have been with them for over 20 years, others for 10 years+, and 35% have 5 years+’ service.

Dyer was acquired by Graeme Parkins and Richard Bradley in 2013, and they have ambitious plans to grow the business and continue to develop DYER Engineering as a special place to work.  So how are DYER Engineering addressing the long-term employment needs of the business in a skills-short market?

Richard Bradley, Finance Director describes his job as being ‘the one to look after the cash and keep the business safe’ and will share Dyer’s story, the importance of their apprenticeship scheme, their brand-new Degree Apprenticeship programme, and the true cost of these to the business. Richard will also share recent success stories of how they have attracted and developed women into engineering roles within their business, in their mission towards a gender-balanced workforce.


Panellist: Victoria Manghan, Head of Human Resources, Calsonic Kansei

Victoria Manghan is Head of Human Resources for Calsonic Kansei North East and Chair of the North East Automotive Alliance HR Focus Group. As Nissan’s biggest 1st Tier supplier, Victoria has overall responsibility for HR strategy and support to c1200 employees across four manufacturing sites which represents the groups largest workforce in Europe. Victoria is passionate about employee development including implementing a leadership development programme for CK which has seen 100 leaders engaged on the programme within the past 18 months and remodelling their apprenticeship offering to create a glide path of opportunities from shop floor to Engineer. She also loves poetry and espressos.


Panellist: Dave Land, NE LEP Board Member

Having spent his career in the automotive sector, David is an engineer by background and joined Tallent Engineering (now Gestamp) when they were a £10M company, supporting their growth to £200M over a 20+ year career. As a main board member, he managed and developed the Business Development, R&D and new product introduction activity across the UK. David spent five years running the Aycliffe facility and supported the sale of the business to Gestamp.

David is now Chairman for EMN and is also a business board member of the local enterprise partnership, as well as supporting the regions 1st UTC. David is also a strong supporter of getting young people in our region into engineering and manufacturing.


Panellist: Leanne Chambers, Director of Client Solutions, greenbean by NRG

As Director of Client Solutions at greenbean, NRG’s Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) business, Leanne leads the delivery teams across the UK for several key clients within manufacturing, engineering, warehouse and logistics. Over the last 12 years Leanne has held operational and strategic roles, working with businesses to streamline their talent attraction and onboarding strategy, identify and communicate their Employer Value Proposition (EVP) and elevate their employer brand.


Panellist: Vicki Smith, Production Manager – Flavour , Fentimans

Fentimans have been making natural botanical drinks for over 100 years with several brewing and production facilities in the North of England. Vicki Smith joined Fentimans four years ago, her first role within manufacturing with responsibility for flavour production. Vicki will share her varied career journey, what inspired her to move into manufacturing, and the transferrable skills which have allowed her to be successful within one of the UK’s leading brands.


Panellist: Kerry Patterson, Head of Human Resources, Tharsus Group

Kerry Patterson is Head of Human Resources at Tharsus Group (incorporating Tharsus and Universal Wolf), one of Europe’s fastest growing technology businesses based in Blyth, Northumberland. Kerry has responsibility for the alignment and delivery of the HR Strategy and transformational HR projects, ensuring these have a real impact on performance across the business. Graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in HR in 2001 and Masters of Science in 2003, Kerry has nearly 20 years of experience in HR and was appointed Governor of Northumberland College earlier this year.

In hosting this event, we want to provide the opportunity for leading North East manufacturing businesses to share and inspire each other in the ongoing war for talent.

When: Tuesday 2nd July (08:30 – 10:30)

Where: Gateshead College Skills Academy for Sustainable Manufacturing and Innovation (SASMI), Sunderland SR5 3HE

08:30 – Registration & Refreshments

09:00 – Keynote speaker:  Richard Bradley, Finance Director, Dyer Engineering

09:30 – Industry panel discussion  

10:00 – Round table discussions

10:30 – Close and networking opportunities


> To book your free place, please email Julie Mordue at NRG!


** Please note this event is for senior leaders working within North East manufacturing & engineering businesses and invited guests of MGN partners only. It is not open to third party suppliers.