Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

Rachel Reeves, the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, is visiting this year’s Tec 66 event on 27th October to support the town’s emerging high-tech industries.

The MP was invited to the event by Labour’s parliamentary candidate, Sarah Owen, who’s been campaigning for high quality, high-tech jobs in Hastings & Rye to ensure people do not have to move away to progress their careers.

rachel reeves mp

Rachel Reeves, the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions will be attending this years Tec 66 event in Hastings.

Hastings has one of the UK’s main clusters of ultra-high vacuum, photonics and optics companies.

The Tec 66 exhibition showcases the latest high-tech innovations with many local manufacturers involved. It’s held at Sussex Coast College, where a high vacuum technology course was recently set up.

Rachel and Sarah will meet exhibitors and local business developers to find out what extra support they need to help the industry expand.

Sarah said: “I’m really excited to be taking our Work & Pensions Shadow Minister to Tec 66. We desperately need to break the trap of this low wage economy in Hastings & Rye and start creating decent jobs for the future-the kind of jobs you’d be proud for your children or yourself to work in.

“These are the sorts of high tech, high quality jobs found in the industries involved with Tec 66 and I will continue to support them to have a future in our local economy.”

Sussex Coast College Hastings has responded to local business demand by developing an exclusive course entitled ‘High Vacuum Technology’ which gives employers and employees the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of the high vacuum industry and its requirements.scch-logo

Paul Nash, who developed the course after seeing the need for basic understanding of High Vacuum in Hastings and Rother said, ‘This course is the only one of its kind, nothing else like it exists. We are meeting the needs of local businesses and providing education to those already working in the industry for large and small organisations.’

Paul has 20 years’ experience in the High Vacuum industry, working as a manufacturing engineer and production cell manager for BOC Edwards in Eastbourne before moving into engineering teaching.  Before that, Paul worked in the defence industry on Flight Control Systems so is used to the demands of high-tech industries. He feels that it is essential that we meet the educational demands of today’s and tomorrow’s businesses by providing exceptional training to students. Indeed, his project for his teaching qualification was on ‘meeting the needs of local employers’.

Tuition on the new course is provided by qualified teaching staff with a background in the vacuum and high-tech engineering industry. Some content is delivered at local manufacturers’ premises and delivery is supported by guest lecturers from local vacuum businesses.

Mike King, of specialist manufacturers Photek, said, ‘Photek have benefited a lot from the course. We recently had two production engineers attend and they were able to adopt the new skills and practices and bring them into the work place. This helped improve both quality and production at Photek.’

Mike concluded, ‘The course is beneficial to both employee and company. It has boosted skills of the employee which helps with confidence and improves productivity and morale.’

Katie Binns works in sales for Kurt J Lesker, a leading global provider of high-quality vacuum products and systems. ‘This course has been very informative and helped me greatly with my day-to-day job. I now have a better understanding of what customers are asking for and what they are explaining to me.’

‘The course was neatly divided into digestible portions, all relevant to the vacuum industry. As there are many people in this town who work within this sector, it’s great to see that the college is acknowledging this: it was a useful introduction to the world of vacuum. The timing of the course fitted perfectly around work hours and the delivery of the course was varied and interesting: we even had the chance to hear and learn from people working in the field. This course is a definite must for anyone in the vacuum business.’

To find out more about studying the High Vacuum Technology course at SCCH, call 01424 442222 or email pnash@sussexcoast.ac.uk.

Following the success of Tec 66 2013, the management team for the conference and exhibition  have decided to make Tec 66 2014 and all events thereafter an annual event and expect it to become one of the premier vacuum exhibitions & conferences across Europe.


Tec 66 2014 at Sussex Coast College

Along with the annual event they have also decided to have the event at Sussex Coast College who are already developing bespoke vacuum technology training courses for the industry.

This years event will definitely have an international feel to it as they are currently in discussions with companies in Dubai and the United States as well as other European countries to attend.

Key speakers from the industry and academia are currently being approached along and so far Maggie Aderin-Pocock has been confirmed and we will have more news on additional speakers for the event soon for you.

In the meantime you can register for the event by emailing Jim Christy (email address here). The email address is the same for those that may want to exhibit.

Tec 66 2014 is on the 27th October 2014.

The Kurt J. Lesker (KJLC) Company is proud to announce the celebration of 60 years in business.  Their founder, Kurt J. Lesker II, started the Kurt J. Lesker Company on April 1, 1954 in the basement of his home in Pittsburgh, PA.


60 years is a long time in business

Since then, KJLC has grown from a regional manufacturer and distributor of vacuum components into a worldwide provider of a full range of vacuum parts, products, systems, design technologies, innovative thinking, and responsive customer service. Working with an attentive eye toward quality, environmental stewardship of resources, and customer satisfaction. KJLC serves the research and development market at both the academic and commercial levels, as well as providing vacuum products and services to industry on a global scale.

They have had successful expansions into Canada and Europe (where they have facilities in Hastings), KJLC has continued to reach out globally, with the opening of their new Shanghai, China office in 2007 and since then have expanded to Hong Kong.

The company is a leading global provider of high-quality vacuum products and systems, along with an established tradition of service and attention to detail, the Kurt J. Lesker Company has built a reputation for being “A Global Vacuum Supplier.

“We at Kurt J Lesker Company are thankful for our long history and look forward to bringing vacuum expertise and products to technologists around the globe, helping to enable them to build a better world.”  Said Kurt J. Lesker III, President.

With the global vacuum industry becoming far more prominent, this local company is a great asset to the town and area as a whole.

Sussex Coast College Hastings have a  short course designed for, and in association with, the high vacuum industry and its suppliers in the Hastings and Rother area.

Who is the High Vacuum course designed for:

  • Those engaged in both the high vacuum industry itself and also the supply chain.
  • Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering, particularly where materials and components are to be used in high-vacuum systems.


    Sussex Coast College has a high vacuum course starting in April

Where and When:

  • Where: Ore Valley campus, Parker Road, Hastings.
  • When: Free pilot course starts 23rd April for 10 weeks (course code: 15549).
  • Time: 3pm – 6pm.
  • Tuition by qualified teaching staff with a background in the vacuum and high-tech engineering industry.
  • Delivery supported by guest lecturers from local vacuum businesses.
  • Some content delivered at local manufacturers premises.

On completion of this course a learner will be able to:

1. Know what is meant by ‘high vacuum’ and relate it to basic formulae and materials.
2. Know the main techniques for creating, measuring and monitoring vacuum in a process.
3. Appreciate the applications of vacuum in manufacturing processes and be able to use information sources to select appropriate equipment for creating a basic system.
4. Know about the modes of failure of vacuum systems and the impact that material selection and condition can have.
5. Be able to identify applications and describe the nature of vacuum and methods of creating and utilising a vacuum for a variety of processes.


Register interest via Jennie Salt: jsalt@sussexcoast.ac.uk or call 01424 458369 by 18th April 2014.