Bright future for Castleford laser company

Castleford manufacturer Yorkshire Laser and Fabrications trains to ISO 9001: 2015 standard with the help of the LEP Skills Service.

Yorkshire Laser and Fabrications (YLF) is one of the UK’s leading laser metal cutting companies. Based in Castleford, the company has an international reputation for sheet metal fabrication and combines experience and innovation to deliver the most up-to-date, reliable and sustainable products, regardless of sector or service.

YLF was started by the present Chairman, Garnett Orford, back in the early 1990s and is now run by Garnett’s son Matthew, who joined the company as a teenager and worked his way up to Managing Director. 

The company employs a team of 35 and has recently taken on five new members of staff. YLF saw the potential to strengthen its core team by getting senior managers and engineers trained to improve their efficiency and gain relevant professional qualifications. This would then allow the company to grow and expand over the next couple of years. Through the LEP Skills Service, they took advantage of the diverse training opportunities available and undertook three different types of individual training in order to build up and create a stronger team.

To support the growth plans and to attract new customers in its target sectors, YLF recognised that the business would benefit by having the internal skills knowledge and competencies to transition to the new ISO 9001: 2015 standard, allowing the company to maintain its reliability for its sheet metal fabrication. 

YLF also wanted engineers at the company to gain professional qualifications and for them to learn a specific software programme that would help them to improve in their current role. With help from the Skills Service, three engineers were able to attend York University to deepen their understanding of CAD parametric modelling. Getting the CAD engineers trained in the use of this could reap real benefits for YLF on a number of projects at the business going forward.

Overall the funding received totalled nearly £8,000 and has helped the company position them for growth in the coming years including plans to move to a new of 10,500 ft. building in Normanton in spring 2017. 

Due to continued expansion, the business turned to the LEP for grant support to help invest in its premises. By securing grant funding from the LEP, the company was able to re-roof and renovate a 3,500 sq ft fabrication building, enabling them to continue with their growth ambitions and take on new staff.

Extra space has allowed the company to expand its CNC operations, expand its fabrication operations and also set up an in-house powder coat painting division. Headcount is also expected to increase to between 40 and 45 employees in the next five years.

Matthew Orford, managing director of YLF, said: “It’s been fantastic the amount of varying support that we’ve received from Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP). As well as helping us secure new premises, we’ve completed three lots of completely different training that have really put the company in a strong position.

“We’re really looking to build on this now and the expansion into new premises in spring of this year is just one part of our ambitious expansion plans that we expect to really kick start our growth.”

Stephanie Burras CBE, Chair of the LEP’s Employment and Skills Panel said: “It’s great to see that the funding from the LEP has had such a positive effect on business at YLF. Despite outgrowing its current premises, it is still able to continue working at a high level before its anticipated move to Normanton. 

“This is a great example of a company which has taken advantage of the wide variety of business support that we offer. As well as the move, the company has worked with our skills service team to find the address some of their skills challenges and undertake training that will strengthen its core team. I look forward to seeing the business growing and jobs being created on the back of this.”