Top 100 Manufacturer Award for Handicare's Operations Director

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The UK operations director at stairlift manufacturer Handicare, based in Kingswinford, has been named as one of the country’s outstanding manufacturing professionals.

Richard Whitehouse, who joined Handicare in July 2016, has been featured in 2019’s Manufacturer Top 100 awards scheme.

Now in its sixth year, The Manufacturer Top 100 project, run by The Manufacturer magazine, in partnership with Cranfield University, one of the country’s top centres of business education, publicly recognises the most dynamic leaders and innovators in manufacturing. Its goal is to help dispel popularly-held myths that vibrant manufacturing in the UK is a thing of the past. 

Awardees are drawn from every walk of UK industry, from top floor to shop floor. They are selected from hundreds of nominations for the examples they set to young people aspiring to a career in industry; 100 unique and uplifting stories of struggle, grit, determination and success against all the odds, personal tales of individuals helping to drive UK manufacturing forward – and to change popular perceptions of careers in manufacturing and draw young people into sector.

Handicare’s UK Managing Director Clare Brophy, who nominated Richard for the award, said: “Since joining us, Richard’s focus has been on creating a stairlift manufacturing operation fit for the future. He has also been instrumental in raising our profile with young people, initiating a programme identifying and nurturing talent into the manufacturing marketplace. We are very proud to see him ranked in the Top 100.”

Nick Peters, Editorial Director of The Manufacturer and of The Manufacturer Top 100 report commented: “The individual stories in the report (available from are a compelling reminder of how strong and vibrant UK manufacturing really is. We need to keep saying that, because as a nation we seem to harbour the notion that no one in the UK makes things anymore, and young people are discouraged from considering careers in manufacturing. The truth is we do make things – we are the world’s 9th largest manufacturing nation – and careers are very well paid. But there are too few skilled young people coming through the system. It is on behalf of that new generation that we do this. We want to break down the decades-old prejudice against manufacturing. We want parents to get excited about recommending a career in manufacturing to their offspring, not see it (so erroneously) as an occupation of last resort. We must not let the prejudices of yesterday poison the opportunities of tomorrow.”

In the report, Richard states: “I am a passionate believer in manufacturing and the need for the UK to strengthen its manufacturing power base once again. I think my achievements come from getting teams and individuals to work together, to challenge them to do things they didn’t believe possible and to enable them to achieve those goals.”

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