An engineering manager from Cwmbran has graduated from a gruelling year-long industry programme to maximise and accelerate leadership potential.

The Future Leaders Programme, led by the British Valve and Actuator Association, aims to bridge the gap between ‘older leaders’ and ‘future leaders’ of the £3bn UK valve and actuator industry.

Rhys Davies, 38, from Crane ChemPharma & Energy, successfully completed the 2018 programme.

Between 10 and 12 participants are selected from across the UK each year.

This is the third year the BVAA has run its Future Leaders Programme, and plans are well underway for a fourth.

BVAA director Rob Bartlett said: “With a leadership crisis facing many engineering-led industries, we wanted to empower promising young talent in valve and actuator businesses. We also saw value in creating a neutral platform where senior leaders from competitive organisations could work together to address this challenge.

“I’ve been closely involved in Rhys’ leadership journey over the past 12 months.

"It’s been inspiring to see how he’s gained confidence in areas like public speaking, while responding positively to all the challenges we’ve set him. He’s invested a lot of personal time and energy, and I’m sure he will reap the rewards with accelerated career development.”

After graduation, participants become mentors to the incoming Future Leaders Programme cohort.

And regular reunions arranged by the BVAA give them the opportunity to continue cultivating their professional network.

The BVAA has represented the British valve and actuator industry for 80 years, and has around 200 members ranging from specialist SMEs to global engineering firms.

The industry is a major STEM employer in the UK: 9,000 people are directly employed by valve and actuator businesses, and the industry contributes £3bn to the UK economy each year.