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Steelite International and Royal Crown Derby CEO, Kevin Oakes, receives an Honorary Doctorate from Staffordshire University.

18 July 2014

Kevin Oakes, Chief Executive at Steelite International has today been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Staffordshire University.

The award of Honorary Doctor of the University is bestowed upon Kevin in recognition of his distinguished career with Steelite International and his championing of the ceramics industry and UK manufacturing. It further acknowledges his investment in staff development, his work with the University on a new Foundation Degree in Leadership and Management, and his founding of the Steelite Study Bursary.

In his acceptance speech, Mr Oakes said that he was ‘delighted’ to have the opportunity to address students who have ‘achieved so much, but undoubtedly have the potential to achieve so much more’.

Kevin continued by discussing his vision for the business with education integral to its success. “We are working on numerous initiatives with schools colleges and universities. Employees are giving innumerable opportunities and in the last 12 months alone, we have dedicated over 15,000 hours of training to our loyal staff.”

“10 of our team are part way through a foundation degree in ‘Leadership and Management’ in a joint venture with Staffordshire University. Perhaps more importantly, we have taught over 500 of our employees basic reading, writing and IT skills”.

Commenting after the award ceremony, Kevin Oakes, CEO, said, “I am extremely proud to have been recognized for this honorary doctorate from Staffordshire University.  However, our people are vital in establishing and maintaining Steelite International’s position as a world leader. It is for this reason that I was delighted to dedicate the award to every employee at the Company”.

This honorary doctorate comes after a record year for Steelite International, with the announcement of sales of £89.6million in 2013 and the ongoing expansion of the company’s Dish Cell production facility; an extra 22,000 square feet of production space and, as a result, the creation of 65 new jobs.