Here at EC Electronics, we’re a family – and have been since the company began 35 years ago. Through all these years, we’ve always tried to maintain our values; one of which is supporting the local community.
We’ve been a long-term employer in Basingstoke, Hampshire and have taken on more and more staff from the nearby community in recent years – and we’re always looking for ways to give more back.
Working with local colleges
For many years, the electronics and manufacturing industry had a very mature workforce and was old fashioned in the way it operated. So, there was a real need to get the younger generation interested in electronics and attract fresh talent to the industry.
We believe the industry (and EC Electronics) benefits massively from the combination of the younger generation’s technical skill and the older workforce’s vast life experience. This is exactly why we want to pass on our knowledge and expertise to the next generation so the industry and we as a company can continue to grow and flourish. Part of this involves working closely with Basingstoke College of Technology and taking on its students as work experience placements and apprentices.
Since 2011 we have taken on a number of students and apprentices. During their time with EC Electronics, the placement students and apprentices get to experience a real mix of both the physical manufacturing process and the business side. Which very much reflects the way we typically operate as a company; no day is the same and everyone chips in with different areas. One work experience student even got to work at our manufacturing operation in Romania for two weeks as part of the scheme.
A future in electronics manufacturing
We invest in our apprentices so we can reap the benefits together later. Our aim is to give the students a good ground-level understanding of the electronic manufacturing world and a wealth of knowledge to build on in the future. And then, hopefully, they’ll become a part of our team further down the line.
Although they are technically ‘trainees’, the reality is that our apprentices become incredibly skilled, gain masses of experience and learn all aspects of production in a relatively short space of time – making them just the type of people we seek for our own workforce.
Since completing the scheme, a few of our apprentices have gone on to work for EC Electronics and moved up the ranks quickly. One of our engineers began as an apprentice, for example, and was swiftly promoted to production supervisor at the age of only 21. We have also helped a number of our employees gain NVQs in business administration, which they have done internally.
A personal approach
It doesn’t just end there though when it comes to supporting the local community. Our employees also get involved in a range of initiatives personally which often overlap with EC Electronics. For example, our group technical director Bill Green volunteers as assistant leader at a local Scouts group in Old Basing, where he helps children enhance their learning capabilities through gaining various badges.
One of these is the Electronics Badge which involves learning the basics of certain components and taking on a small project. We worked with some of our vendors to design and develop a PCB and this was then presented to the Scouts – who later created their own boards on the shop floor in order to gain their badge.
Beyond this, we try to help each other’s personal fundraising and volunteering efforts as much as possible. Whether that be our annual Christmas raffle for the local hospice, taking on family members for work experience during the summer months, sponsoring each other or donating various items for Bill’s Scouts group. Further afield, we also support one of Romania’s largest orphanages, which is located a short distance from our facility in Petrosani, by donating clothes, toys and money.
In the future, we plan to continue with our on-going fundraising efforts throughout the year and supporting local businesses in any way we can. We are also looking to support a new nominated charity every year.
It is this approach and these values which set us apart from other manufacturers in the industry. Since we don’t create any products of our own, we can’t provide this. But we can offer our expertise and extensive industry knowledge – adding a personal touch to everything we do.
To find out more about the work we do, either from a manufacturing perspective or in terms of our involvement with the local community, please get in touch today.