Frank Field MP
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Birkenhead firm is an example of success

THE phone rang. Would I take the call from Nick Mulhall, the new boss at RFD Beaufort? My heart sank. These calls are invariably to tell me that major redundancies or a closure is to be announced.
Nick’s voice came on the phone. I'm the new MD. I'm ringing to introduce myself and invite you to revisit our site. That return visit took place last Friday.
Those of you who watched last Thursday's TV news on the successful rescue mission of the passengers in a helicopter brought down near Aberdeen will have seen much of what RFD Beaufort produces.
The helicopter was afloat thanks to RFD Beaufort’s floats. The men were in one of their life rafts wearing the company’s lifejackets made in Birkenhead.
A number of aspects about the company fascinates me. The committed and talented workforce is led by a leadership team which sees its job as winning orders and not expecting those orders automatically to turn up.
I also wondered whether my visit on Friday was a glimpse of how Britain can rebuild its manufacturing base.
RFD Beaufort sells its produce. Equally importantly it does development work on what it makes, but sells these ideas under licence.
So in those countries who sensibly wish to keep, let alone build up, its manufacturing base, our Birkenhead firm sells the ideas it has developed here so that they can replicate some of our best ideas. RFD Beaufort is an example of how Britain can spread success.
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