CF Images 185One of the county’s biggest business events will be looking to the future when it takes over the Historic Dockyard in Chatham next week.

The Manufacturing and Engineering Expo 2013 is being held on Wednesday, 10 July with more than 60 firms and organisations taking part. It has been organised by Medway Council and Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce with the support of Best Business Events.

At the heart of the exhibition will be an apprenticeship zone with apprentices from many of Medway and Kent’s major firms showing off the skills they have learned as they begin their careers in engineering or manufacturing.

BAE Systems Electronic Systems division in Rochester, Kent, will be one of the major exhibitors, alongside the University of Greenwich. Both are supporters of Medway’s University Technical College, which is due to open next year. It will specialise in engineering and construction studies.

BAE Systems will be demonstrating its electronic head up display, which is being developed for civil and military use, including treatment for disabled ex-forces personnel.

There will also be workshops covering a range of subjects including finance, training and exporting.

Visitors will also be able to find out more about funding that is available to firms looking to expand in the North Kent and Medway area of Kent, including the new TIGER (Thames Gateway Innovation, Growth and Enterprise) fund..

This will offer direct loans to business, normally on an interest-free, unsecured basis, alongside business support and advice. Funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, TIGER will be available to businesses seeking to invest in Dartford, Gravesham, Medway, Swale and Thurrock.

Councillor Jane Chitty, Portfolio holder for Strategic Development and Economic Growth, said: “This exhibition will not only showcase some of the region’s most successful businesses but will offer a wonderful opportunity for young people to discover the benefits of careers in engineering and manufacturing.”

Jo James, Chief Executive of Kent Invicta Chamber said: “We are absolutely delighted to be part of this initiative by Medway Council. The Expo will give visitors the opportunities and resources to drive business growth as well as finding out about funding for their business.”

Manufacturing and engineering provides 10 per cent of jobs in Medway, and increased by 12 per cent in 2010 , whilst national figures were showing a decline. They are worth £630 million a year to the economy of Medway.

The event will be held at the No 5 slipway at the Historic Dockyard at Chatham. For more details visit http://www.manufacturingandengineeringexpo.co.uk

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