FULL details about the workshops and education zone at this year’s Durham Oktoberfest have been revealed.

The workshops are being held to offer businesses expert advice and guidance on issues which are topical and could help their business grow.

The line up features:
• AMAP’s North East Maintenance Forum (NEMF) with presentations from director Roger O’Brien; Sean Scott from Bridon-Bekaert; Dave Bartell from Expert Tooling and Automation; and Dr David Baglee, chairman of NEMF
• Durham County Council’s Credit Union team – Cllr Neil Foster will be on hand to give advice on loans and investments in the workplace
• Social media for businesses with LEC Consultancy
• British Standards Institute (BSI) who will give a talk on additive manufacturing
• Automation of Flexible Manufacturing with Fastems UK

In addition to the workshops, businesses are also being given the chance to meet the engineering stars of tomorrow in the Education Zone. Students from East Durham College, New College Durham, Derwentside College, North Durham Academy, Sunderland College and The University of Sunderland will all be in attendance showcasing some of their project work.

Ben Gilhespy, Director of Operations at County Durham Engineering and Manufacturing Network (CDEMN), which organises Durham Oktoberfest, said: “We always respond to the feedback of exhibitors and attendees which has led to the introduction of the workshops that are focussed on the subjects we know are affecting businesses.

“We also expect the Education Zone to be a popular addition to the line-up. There is still a skills gap within the region’s manufacturing and engineering sectors so it’s vital that our employers are looking now for their workforce of tomorrow. Future employees could well be found among the students in attendance.”

Durham Oktoberfest is the North East’s biggest shop window for businesses looking to promote their offering and is taking place on Thursday, October 20, at the Xcel Centre.

Exhibition stands are almost sold out and companies are reminded to book their space now to ensure they don’t miss out.

This year’s event also includes a panel debate with regional business experts including Liz Mayes from the EEF; Tom Dower from the new South Durham UTC; Colin Bell, business growth director at the North East LEP; Matt Atkinson from Nine Software; Graeme Parkins from Dyer Engineering; and Roger O’Brien, director of AMAP at The University of Sunderland.

To find out more about Oktoberfest, which is organised by the County Durham Engineering and Manufacturing Network (CDEMN) or to register as an exhibitor or attendee, visit durhamoktoberfest.org.uk.