Lucite shows children that small steps are key to success


The adage “You’re never too old to learn” has proved true for workers at Lucite International.

Measures undertaken by a wide range of Lucite employees to make the Billingham chemical plant more sustainable have led to a £1,000 boost for nearby High Clarence Primary School.

Now, Lucite has given children a ‘lesson’ in the small steps everyone can take to make big improvements in performance.

Lucite nominated High Clarence for the cash following success in the Manufacturing Sustainability category at the recent NEPIC North East process industry annual awards event. The school will spend the money on additional books for its library.

The company makes the essential ‘ingredients’ for a wide range of acrylic-based products and won the award for changes made over the last 20 years.

These include a huge reduction in the use of raw materials and the adoption of internationally recognised business and process improvement techniques that have increased plant efficiency by a quarter. Production levels per employee have now more than doubled to around 1,400 tonnes a year and youth has been given its chance, with a quarter of Lucite’s 250 Teesside employees now aged under 30.

Melanie Jury, Lucite’s Cassel Site Director, said: “It’s great to be able to use this money to develop the learning and skills of young people in an area close to our site. Our workforce spans people of all ages and in a sense its “back to school” for all of us as we learn new skills and techniques that will drive us to success in future.”

Jean Orridge OBE, Head Teacher at High Clarence Primary, which has 102 pupils including nursery aged children, said: “It’s always nice to get a little help from your friends and this donation will help pupils enormously.”

Lucite has supported High Clarence in other ways too, with employees offering practical help and one-to-one assistance to children looking to improve their reading skills as part of a national scheme.

Middlesbrough College, which sponsored the NEPIC Manufacturing Sustainability Award, will this year open a £20 million STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) centre to address the skills gap and help sustain the future of industry in the area.

Zoe Lewis, the college’s Principal and Chief Executive, said: “We are immensely proud to sponsor this award and help the school invest in the future of its pupils.”

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