From Gazette & Herald: MP hits heights at Devizes factory

MP Claire Perry was given an insight into the work of a Devizes firm which exports safety equipment across the world and each year employs a number of apprentices from across the area.

Latchway held an open day at its headquarters on the Hopton Industrial Estate on Friday to showcase its equipment which is used across the world to protect people who work at height. Iconic buildings were it is installed include New York’s Grand Central Station, the new Doha airport in Qatar and the Olympic Stadium in London.

Chief Operating Officer for Latchways, Gavan Duff, said: "Latchways here in Devizes will become a centre of excellence for engineered fall protection systems. The innovation here will be used as a springboard to accelerate growth, both in employment and market share."

The personal rescue device was designed, developed and tested in Devizes and is said to be the world's first fall arrest and self-rescue system.

Mrs Perry said: “It’s exciting to discover that we’re manufacturing products here in Devizes that are then installed and used to protect people working at height across the world. It’s also really encouraging to see apprenticeships offered in engineering by a company that has such a bright future.

The Latchways apprentice scheme was set up three years ago and has been devised to support and encourage new talent into a career in engineering

Andrew Pass, engineering manager and head of the apprentice scheme said: “There are obviously many draws to working at Latchways - our global reputation is based on a strong heritage of engineering innovation, and we work with technology developed in high-end sectors such as automotive and aerospace - yet it is often quite difficult to attract the right calibre of talent for us here in Devizes.

"Engineering isn’t always front of mind for young people considering a career and often, students are attracted to the larger conurbations where they can experience city life.

“We launched the apprentice scheme to overcome these issues and to generate engineering talent in the South West - already a regional engineering hub."