Digby Jones, Lord Jones of Birmingham Kt, has been appointed as Non- Executive Deputy Chairman of Unipart’s consultancy group, Unipart Expert Practices.
Lord Jones, who served as Director General of the CBI and Minister of State for Trade and Investment, is a Business Ambassador at UK Trade & Investment.
In 2005 he was knighted for his services to business, and upon leaving the CBI in 2006 he spent the next 12 months in the private sector, holding a variety of non-executive board roles and advisory positions and was the unpaid UK Skills Envoy.
In July 2007, he was appointed Minister of State for UK Trade & Investment and became a life peer. Forthright and, as ever, loyal to British business, he spent the next 15 months "doing it in a different way". He did not join the party of government, and without the ambition to progress in politics, he concentrated on the business of promoting Britain across the world.
He has sat as an active, none aligned crossbencher in the House of Lords since 2009. He is Chairman of Triumph Motorcycles Limited, Chairman of Grove Industries, a Non-Executive Director of Spicers Office Suppliers and is Corporate Ambassador for Jaguar Cars and JCB. He is Chairman of the Emergency Services Advisory Board of Babcock International Group plc and a Senior Adviser to BP plc and Harvey Nash plc.
Commenting on the appointment, Unipart Chairman and Chief Executive John Neill said:
"Our friendship and deep admiration for Digby go back many years to when he championed the role of business in the West Midlands, where we have many sites. Throughout these years, he has spoken to our senior teams many times and has been both inspirational and challenging in his views. This appointment will be welcomed strongly by our own people as well as our many customers and stakeholders who share our respect for Digby’s many achievements."
The appointment of Lord Jones comes at an important time for Unipart’s consultancy group. Unipart Expert Practices was formed to meet the many requests from clients and visitors to Unipart who were seeking a way to implement continuous improvement programmes that truly engaged employees at every level of the organisation.
Having successfully delivered major improvement programmes across a wide range of public and private sector organisations – including a wide scale programme with HMRC which is reported to have saved over £900m for the UK taxpayer – Unipart Expert Practices is expanding into new sectors.
"Our expert practitioners are bringing the knowledge and experience gained through implementing the Unipart Way to a wide range of new clients," said John Neill. "Increasingly business people are recognising that this approach can work in every sector and virtually anywhere in the world, and can deliver the significant benefits of cost reduction, error elimination and improved customer service."
"We know that Lord Jones’ advice and guidance will bring considerable benefits to our consultants during this important time as more and more public and private sector organisations are turning towards proven approaches like The Unipart Way to deal with the economic and competitive challenges that they are facing."
Lord Digby Jones said "I am thrilled to bits to be joining Unipart. I have admired the Company, its people and its values for so many years and it is a real privilege to be asked to join the team and help make a beneficial difference to the productivity and employee fulfilment of British Business. If Britain is to get out of its economic problems it must trade its way out and, for sure, Unipart will be at the forefront of ensuring UK Business plays its part."