Award-Winning Stafford Manufacturer Hosting Recruitment Open Day Ahead of Specialist New Factory Launch

Fifty skilled and trainee production roles created across new 35,000 sq. ft state-of-the-art facility and 85,000 sq. ft Hixon HQ

Multi award-winning sheet metal manufacturing business, Alpha Manufacturing, is hosting a recruitment open day to recruit for roles across its Hixon site and brand new 35,000 sq. ft production facility in Beacon Park, Stafford.

Taking place on 10th March, the event is being held at the 85,000 sq ft. headquarters in Hixon to give prospective employees the opportunity to take a tour of Alpha’s state-of-the-art facilities and learn more about the roles available at the new division Alpha Manufacturing Chemical Technologies. Interested parties will also be given the chance to participate in an on-the-day interview for the role they are interested in.

50 new jobs are being created as a result of the launch of Alpha Manufacturing Chemical Technologies, which will manufacture components for INEOS Electrochemical Solutions.

Based across the new production facility as well as Alpha’s Manufacturing’s existing HQ, roles available include Fine Finish TIG Welders, Laser Weld Operatives, Punch and Press Brake Operatives, Spot Welders, Quality Inspectors, General Machine Operators and more. The company is looking for experienced and skilled operators as well as those wanting to retrain or start their career within the engineering and manufacturing industry. Apprenticeship and Higher Apprenticeship opportunities are also available.

This first phase of recruitment is part of Alpha Manufacturing’s wider strategic expansion plan which includes the creation of 100 new Staffordshire-based jobs over the next five years. The new recruits will join over 400 other local people working within the wider Bri-Stor Group at Hixon.

Alpha Manufacturing Operations Director, Neal Lafford said: “We are so pleased that we can now begin recruiting for our brand-new Chemical Technology team. The new site brings with it some exciting opportunities and roles for us, not to mention the ability to support and develop our local workforce. There has never been a more exciting time to join Alpha Manufacturing and we’re looking for enthusiastic people who want to be a part of our growing company.”

Group HR Manager, Karen Barnacle said: “Recruitment open days have become a successful event across our Group businesses, in which we have taken on a number of attendees previously, even offering some positions on the day.”

Alpha Manufacturing’s recruitment open day will be held on Thursday 10th March 2022, with timeslots at 12pm and 2pm available. To find out more and sign-up, visit:

CNC Machinist

Alpha Manufacturing, a member of the Bri-Stor Group, is a privately-owned business fabricating sheet metal in the UK. Alpha designs and produces both sheet metal work components and assemblies. Established in 1989, the company now employs over 100 people. Utilising industry leading technology, Alpha Manufacturing have facilities to design, prototype and manufacture a diverse range of products all in their purpose-built sheet metal fabrication factory in the heart of Staffordshire.

Having experienced significant growth and success over the last few years, we are seeking a CNC Machine Operator to work in our Machining department operating Mazak CNC Millers, Turners and Machining Centres.


CNC Machining Operator Responsibilities:

The Candidate:


The successful candidate will be entitled to:

Neal Lafford promoted to Operations Director at Alpha Manufacturing

Neal LaffordNeal Lafford has been promoted to the role of Operations Director at Alpha Manufacturing, after joining the business 10 years ago as Business Improvement Manager.

After starting with Alpha Manufacturing in 2012 Neal has been instrumental in helping the business expand its capabilities, in fact it’s Neal’s process improvement expertise that was the catalyst for his promotion to Operations Manager in 2018. In this role, Neal oversaw all areas of production quality and engineering and his many and continued successes have led him to this new directorship.

As Operations Director, Neal will work closely with Commercial Director Robin Eley, and Managing Director Paul Clews to continue to bring operational excellence to Alpha and to bring the business closer to its industry 4.0 goals.

Speaking about Neal’s promotion, Paul Clews said: “This move to directorship is well deserved and recognises Neal’s dedication in his role as Operations Manager.

“Neal is someone who in the past 10 years, has worked tirelessly to expand our capabilities, improve processes and used his expertise in lean manufacturing and process improvement to oversee the implementation of key machinery as well as lead a large, expert team.

“In his new role, I look forward to working with Neal on strategy creation and implementation and our industry 4.0 objectives. I have no doubt that Neal will achieve great things in the role and continue to take the company from strength to strength as we continue to grow, with the opening of our new Chemical Technologies development opening next year.”

Neal said: “My time at Alpha has been full of career defining moments, and after starting almost 10 years ago as Business Improvement Manager, I have learnt so much and feel I have grown with the business. I still get a buzz every time we implement a new process or expand our capabilities with new machinery, and I am proud of my contribution to Alpha’s continued success.  I look forward to developing new strategies that will further enhance our reputation as a world-class manufacturer.”

Alpha Welcomes New Senior Production Manager, Nick Moss

The Alpha Manufacturing production team has grown again with the appointment of Nick, who previously worked at JCB for 11 years, most recently as a Manufacturing Group Leader managing a large team in the load-all division.

Nick Moss 1Nick’s new role involves him overseeing all aspects of manufacturing operations and production processes, working with Operations Manager Neal Lafford, to ensure smooth production of parts and operational functions.

Nick’s appointment comes at a busy time for Alpha, as the company continues to grow its order book, expand its processes with new technology investments, and with the opening of two new sites, including the latest development in build, Alpha Manufacturing Chemical Technologies.

About his new role, Nick said: “I’m someone who continually wants to grow my skills and learn, so  I’m really looking forward to getting to know this new business. Having worked in the manufacturing industry for many years, one thing I have never worked on solely is sheet metal, so it’s the perfect challenge for me to get to know these new processes and machinery.

“One of the things I am already enjoying about Alpha is the variety of our customer base and the scope of innovative projects the company is working on. There’s a real family feel about his company that is unique, and I’m already proud to be a part of it.”

Alpha Manufacturing Quality Team grows with Appointment of New Trainee Quality Engineer

In August, Alpha Manufacturing held its first ever Recruitment Open Day. With up to 30 positions available in a range of skilled and semi-skilled roles, candidates were offered the chance to interview for their preferred role on the day.

Libby MellorIn attendance at the Open Day was Libby Mellor, a former Mechanical Engineering Apprentice who found her passion in the Quality Department at Perkins during her apprenticeship and had progressed to the role of Quality Inspector in her fourth year at the company.

Libby attended the Open Day with the aim of finding out more about Alpha Manufacturing and the roles available within the Quality Department. Speaking about her new role, Libby said: “I think it’s fascinating to see how other companies work, whether you’re looking for a job or not, and so it was great being able to take a look around the factory at Alpha and see all the facilities first hand.

“I had heard a lot about the progression opportunities available at Alpha and how they support people through education and training, and as I was ready to take my next steps in my career, Alpha seemed like the perfect place.

“At the Open Day, I spoke with the management team about looking for my next challenge within the industry, and it wasn’t long afterwards that I was offered the position of Trainee Quality Engineer. I was so thrilled to have been offered the perfect next step that I was looking for, at a company that I had been so impressed by.

“Having worked here a couple of weeks now, I’m still learning the ropes but am so excited to get stuck into my role. The main thing I’m looking forward to is planning and investigation, where I will be evaluating potential quality risks before they arise to contribute to the company’s high-quality standards.

“My overall hope for the future is to keep learning and progressing in my career, hopefully working my way from Trainee to Quality Engineer and eventually I would like to manage a team and go into the Quality Management side of things.

“At the moment, I’m really enjoying getting to know all of the processes and the team here, who have all been so friendly and welcoming! My advice to anyone wanting to take their next steps in their career is to go for it. By taking a chance you could find the perfect job for you like I have at Alpha.”

We wish Libby all the success in her new role and it’s great to have her as a part of Team Alpha.

Find out more about our Quality Department, or meet Quality Manager Ben Austin and Quality Inspector Peter Ricketts.

“I secured my dream job at Alpha’s Recruitment Open Day”

In August, Alpha Manufacturing held its first ever Recruitment Open Day. With up to 30 positions available in a range of skilled and unskilled roles, candidates were offered the chance to interview for their preferred role on the day.

Offering robust training schemes and professional development opportunities, a Group bonus scheme and competitive salaries, the Open Day was a great success with over 70 potential candidates attending over three time slots throughout the day, and almost all roles filled, with some candidates being offered the job on the day.

RoffyAmongst the attendees on the day was Roffy Chitumba, a recent Masters graduate in Advanced Product Design, who was looking to start his career in the engineering industry. Roffy picks up his story from here: “As early as I can remember I have always had a passion for engineering, always wanting to understand how machines and moving parts work, but growing up in Zimbabwe there were not many higher education pathways for me to develop the knowledge and skills required.

“After moving to England to pursue my education, I attended University to study Aeronautical Engineering in Manchester. Once I graduated, I worked in technical support for a consultancy for a while, but I wanted to continue my education in engineering and manufacturing, to give myself the best start to my career in this area, which is why I pursued my Masters degree in Advanced Product Design.

“I found out about the Recruitment Open Day at Alpha Manufacturing through social media, and it came at the perfect time for me, having recently completed my Masters degree. I was so impressed with Alpha’s Apprenticeship Scheme, Higher Apprenticeships and training opportunities it seemed like a company that really invested in its employees.

“At the Open Day, I took a tour around Alpha’s facilities and was fascinated by the scale of the factory and the world-class machinery.  It’s exactly the kind of place I had dreamed of working, somewhere I can get stuck in and put my theory knowledge into practical experience, learning every part of the production process.  Meeting the wider team, including an interview with Operations Manager, Neal Lafford, was really interesting and after a nervous week waiting to hear news, I was absolutely thrilled to be offered the position of Quality Inspector with the goal of becoming a Production Engineer. My skills, knowledge of CAD design and modelling, made me the perfect fit for this area. I couldn’t believe it when I got the offer. It was a dream come true, to be offered the role I applied for with the scope to progress.

“The first month has been a whirlwind experience. I took part in a two-week induction, working on the factory floor operating machines, welding, polishing and getting some hands-on involvement of the journey in which parts go through in the production line. This week, I am finally in the Quality team and I’m already loving it. Through a combination of the knowledge learnt during my degrees and getting to know the manufacturing methods on my induction, this has helped me to get into the mindset of a Quality Inspector; being able to spot possible areas within the production of a component where issues may occur and working with the Production Engineers to find solutions.

“I already feel a part of something special here at Alpha and am looking forward to doing the best possible job I can do for the company.  My advice to anyone who is worried about applying for their dream job, just go for it! Never give up, as there may be the perfect opportunity out there for you, like this one at Alpha is to me. If you’re willing to work hard and get stuck in, then good things will happen. Follow your dreams!”

Are you looking for your dream job? Take a look at our available positions on our careers page.

Find out more about our Quality Team, meet Ben Austin and Peter Ricketts.

Alpha Manufacturing Team Continues to Grow with Appointment of New Commercial Manager, Michael Whitfield

Having worked for JCB for 15 years, most recently in the Global Major Accounts department as General Manager, Michael Whitfield has joined Alpha to support recent business growth and continue to drive the company forward.

Michael Whitfield

Michael’s new role will see him working with Commercial Director, Robin Eley and Technical Sales Engineer, Corey Hammond, building relationships with new and existing customers and supporting the continuing growth of the business.

Michael’s appointment comes at an exciting time for Alpha, as the company is experiencing unprecedented demand for its services with the opening of two new sites this year; Alpha Integrated Solutions and Alpha Manufacturing Chemical Technologies, a brand new 35,000 sq ft facility in Beacon Park, Stafford in collaboration with global brand INEOS Electrochemical Solutions.

On his new role, Michael said: “As someone who is passionate about the engineering and manufacturing industry, I’ve been following the evolution of Alpha Manufacturing, and the whole Bri-Stor Group for a long time, and have always been impressed. Something that really stands out is the way Alpha values its staff, and has such strong relationships with its customers.

“I have no doubt Alpha has an exciting future ahead as it continues to grow and I look forward to being part of that journey.”

Living locally to Hixon, Michael lives with his wife and two young children. The family are active in the local community and although having young children occupies much of his time, Michael enjoys keeping fit through running and playing football with friends as well as embarking on DIY projects at home.

Welcome to the Alpha Team Michael, and good luck in your new role.

Alpha Manufacturing to host Recruitment Open Day due to recent growth

With up to 30 roles available in a range of skilled and unskilled roles, Alpha Manufacturing is offering the chance to interview for your preferred role on the day

Hixon based sheet metal manufacturer; Alpha Manufacturing is hosting an open day in order to recruit for nearly 30 new roles created due to recent businesses growth.  Part of the Bri-Stor Group, Alpha Manufacturing occupies a 35acre site, shared with sister companies; Bri-Stor Systems, Atlas Coating and Hex Signs and Graphics.

Since the start of this year, Alpha Manufacturing has seen a surge in demand for quality UK sheet metal manufacturing, resulting in the opening of two new divisions; Alpha Integrated Technologies and the most recent being Alpha Manufacturing Chemical Technologies, a 35,000sq ft purpose-built manufacturing facility in Beacon Park, Stafford in partnership with global chemical company INEOS Electrochemical Solutions.

This recent success has led to the creation of new roles, including both skilled and unskilled positions with quality training in place for those looking to begin their career within the engineering industry, such as; MIG and TIG Welders, Production Team Leaders, CNC Machine Operators, Quality Inspectors, Press Brake Operatives and more. Offering robust training schemes and professional development opportunities, a Group bonus scheme and competitive salaries, Alpha Manufacturing is anticipating large numbers of applications.

Talking about the scale of the opportunity, Managing Director Paul Clews, said: “This is an exciting time to be part of Alpha. As we respond to the recent demand for our services, business is booming and we are pleased to be able to offer a number of positions within our production facility. With the opening of our Chemical Technologies division planned for mid-2022, we hope to be able to offer even more quality jobs going forward with our ambitious, yet achievable growth plans, which we hope will be a big boost to the local economy and for local people.”

The open day, on the 18th August 2021, will provide prospective employees with the opportunity to take a tour around the factory and to view the state-of-the-art machinery for themselves, which includes the longest STOPA Storage System in the UK. With three time slots throughout the day, interested parties will also be given the chance to participate in an on-the-day interview for the role they are interested in, or hand in their CV.

Group HR Manager, Karen Barnacle added: “I am very excited about the opportunity to recruit for such a large group of new talent to enhance our 500 plus people strong workforce across the Bri-Stor Group. The Group is renowned for our apprenticeship programme, employee development opportunities, as well as our people retention, with a number of our employees having been with the Group for over 15 years – This recruitment drive really does represent a great opportunity to kickstart your career.”

The open day will be held at Alpha Manufacturing premises in Hixon, Staffordshire, with three time slots throughout the day available to pre-book. Book your slot here:

Joining the Bri-Stor Group is an Exciting Opportunity

Growing up in Staffordshire, just a few miles from the family business, Martin Smith spent much of his childhood watching his parents build Bri-Stor Systems Limited (Bri-Stor is an abbreviation of British Storage). Today, as CEO of the Bri-Stor Group, he reflects on his own career and the tough lessons he learned along the way.

“Growing up in the 80s and 90s I didn’t see a lot of my parents; they were always at work and I suppose looking back I didn’t really have a full appreciation of their hard work and what it meant for my future. At that time, I spent a lot of time playing sport, in particular cricket and hockey and enjoyed playing at a reasonably high level. As for school, I was a challenging lad to say the least, I was a bright kid and I loved my school, but I was quite mischievous and was often looking for clever ways to distract my mates and the teaching staff. That said, I did pretty well in my GCSEs and A Levels, and the turning point really came for me when I was 18 and took up a place on a four-year degree at Bath University, studying International Business and Foreign Languages.”

In year three of his degree Martin started a role at Peugeot, based in Paris, a turning point in his future, as he explains: “my role at Peugeot really changed my view of the workplace. I’d always done well academically but this was my first opportunity to really get stuck into something outside of education. It was an incredible experience and built my confidence no-end. It was never a given that I would work for Bri-Stor Group, far from it, my dad’s view was “you make your own way son” so that’s exactly what I did. I worked flat out at Peugeot, rarely seeing anything other than the inside of the office or my tiny flat – but it was a solid grounding.”

Graduating from Bath University and gaining experience in the world of manufacturing and engineering, Martin felt he was set for a career in the family business, he tells us what happened next: “I can recall the conversation with my dad about joining the business and he was adamant that I had to go and find out what my value was in the world of work. What he meant was, go and get three job offers and we’ll talk about a job at Bri-Stor Group.  So that’s what I did, I got offers from three global management consultancy businesses and my dad’s response? “Well done son.  You can have half the salary and you can start in the paint shop, on the night shift” – so that’s exactly what I did.”

For several years Martin worked night shifts, day shifts and a combination of the two.  He worked in all departments learning the shopfloor skills required to run the business and eventually became Production Manager in Alpha Manufacturing, he continues: “It was pure hard work, but to this day I remind people that you shouldn’t expect somebody to do something you wouldn’t be prepared to do yourself.  That mindset has stayed with me throughout my career in the Group and is a strong part of our culture today. I look at how hard the teams work throughout the business, but what really stands out is the strong team ethic that underpins it all. As we welcome new Apprentices into the business, I know we are giving them the very best opportunity to develop a successful career. In truth, if you’re wondering if an Apprenticeship will broaden your horizons, then read about Paul Clews’ career – he is the very essence of how an Apprenticeship can pave the way for a bright, successful future.”

What are you looking for in this year’s Apprentices?

“As with every cohort of Apprentices, we expect to see determination and the willingness to try new skills. For many of this year’s intake, regardless of age, they will have experienced a really disruptive education, so we are looking for Apprentices with a really strong, positive mindset.  Joining the Bri-Stor Group is the start of an exciting chapter.”

We are giving young people the opportunity to put their ambitions first


After a twenty-year career in the Army, retiring as a Warrant Officer in 2015, Will Davies-Hill was ready for the next chapter in his career.  Joining Bri-Stor Systems and securing a position in the electrics team, Will slotted straight into the fast-paced and dynamic culture of the business and was immediately struck by the firm’s attitude towards career progression and personal development, as he explains:


“Having spent two decades of my life in the military I’m well aware of the importance of discipline and personal improvement and these are two values that I recognised in Bri-Stor Group, so when the opportunity came up to advance my own career as the Apprenticeship Manager I jumped at the chance.  I’d already observed the fantastic opportunity our Apprentices were being given but I knew, with the right support, I could take the Scheme to the next level.”

Six years on and Will and the wider teams in the Group have developed a fully accredited Apprenticeship Scheme, recruiting approximately 15 students each year to join one of the region’s fastest growing businesses.  With strong ties to both engineering and manufacturing disciplines the Bri-Stor Group Apprenticeship Scheme is in high demand, Will continues: “My dedicated role is all about nurturing and developing young talent.  We attract applicants from across the county who can see the diverse and exciting nature of our Scheme and I believe that’s because we’ve embedded the real ethos of Apprenticeship into our scheme – giving young people the opportunity to put their ambitions first. 

“My own career experience in the military has given me a unique insight into what drives and motivates young people, often in challenging situations, so I have brought this experience to Bri-Stor Group and today, we are delivering what I believe is a solid blend of learning, experience and the opportunity to use initiative and self-discipline.  It has to be said though, we know how to have fun and we love the comradery amongst the Apprentices – we give them ample opportunity to let off steam and really bring their personalities to the work place.  There is space in this business for everybody, our role is simply to nurture their talent.”

While year one and two of the Scheme are focused on learning and experiencing different roles, in year three, the Apprentices are getting stuck into a role which matches their ambition, talent and the needs of the business.   According to Will, this transition can be more challenging for some than others, but Will has this to say: “whether an Apprentice is joining us at 16, 18 or even older, we understand that coming into the work place can be a daunting prospect.  In year one we spend a lot of time focusing on business etiquette and expected behaviour – these are essential skills that need to be acquired but we do it in a subtle way and by year two, they’ve seamlessly transitioned from pupil to colleague.”

With the pandemic affecting both education and workplace training for almost every business in the UK, Bri-Stor Group has adapted its Scheme to ensure Apprentices can stay on track, Will comments: “It’s been a challenging time, no question, but we have a robust plan in place to ensure year one Apprentices can continue with the three-year plan.  That’s just one of the benefits of joining Bri-Stor Group, our fully accredited Apprenticeship Scheme is highly regarded but our intake numbers enable us to flex as situations beyond our control change.  That said, I am incredibly proud of the resilience our Apprentices have shown in the last 12 months – these are incredibly challenging times and it’s testament to their attitude and team-spirit that they all continue to grow and develop their business skills.”

What are you looking for in this year’s Apprentices? “We are in tough times and we are keen to see how applicants have responded to the uncertainty of education through a pandemic.  Those that have continued to show determination to succeed will thrive at the Bri-Stor Group.”

CNC Fold Operative


Operate Press brake machines and support the production team by assembling parts, operating machinery, punching or sawing of metal products as instructed by supervisors. Produce a variety of parts, all of which must meet the dimensional specifications of the mechanical engineered drawings.

This position may include all or some of the duties and responsibilities listed below.

Press Brake Operator Job Duties:

Press Brake Operator Skills: