Ask Peter Lowe what Hadee Engineering’s biggest achievement is and he’ll say that it is staying in business for more than 40 years, but he is also justifiably proud that the company has managed to keep bringing on apprentices throughout that time.
It irks him that apprenticeships have suddenly become a hot topic for business and politicians but, as he says: “We’ve always done it.”
He is also sceptical about the new found enthusiasm for manufacturing amongst politicians and the quality of education young people receive at school – pointing out that, while schools ditched Imperial measurements decades ago in favour of the metric system, half of the drawings his company receives are still in feet and inches.
That said, Peter Lowe believes there are some big opportunities on the horizon for Hadee, including electrification of the rail network and plans for major wind farms on the north and south of the Humber, if politicians have the courage to press ahead with much needed investment in Britain’s infrastructure..
“It’s tough at the moment, but, having said that, we are keeping busy. We keep batting away and seeing what we can do. I think there are some great opportunities to come, but it needs someone to it up and run with it.
“It needs someone to take their coat off, roll their sleeves up and get stuck in. It would create jobs and knowledge which we could use to win more business.”
One thing is certain. Peter Lowe will still want to be in the thick of it.
“I’m lucky,” he says. “I love my job and always have. I like meeting people, talking to people and problem solving. I don’t like the paper work, but I love the engineering side; the problem solving side. What else am I going to do? Sit at home and do nothing?”