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Meet Victoria Hopkins: Facilitator of Manufacturers’ Alliance West Yorkshire Peer Group  

Within our team and community, individuals have joined us through various paths, each bringing a wealth of experience and gaining knowledge throughout their time with us.  

In this article, we introduce Victoria Hopkins: Facilitator of Manufacturers’ Alliance West Yorkshire Peer Group.  


How did your journey begin with the Manufacturers’ Alliance? 

The Manufacturers’ Alliance invited me to consider the role of Facilitator of the West Yorkshire Owners / Senior Managers Peer Group during the COVID lockdown. 

After attending a few meetings, I was immediately drawn to the forward-thinking and supportive ethos of the Peer Group network. 

Having been the MD of my family’s engineering business, I understood the challenges and occasional loneliness of the role. I empathised with this remarkable group of leaders and their daily struggles. The chance to support and contribute to their journeys was both an honour and a privilege I couldn’t pass by. The rest, as they say, is history. 


What is your role, and what does a day in your shoes look like?  

I hold multiple roles within the organisation, overseeing the West Yorkshire Peer Group and establishing the ‘Emerging Leaders’ Peer Group. This group serves as a hub of support and encouragement, guiding aspiring leaders through their professional journey. Through shared experiences, members amplify strengths, address weaknesses, and collectively elevate their leadership acumen. Additionally, I provide 1-1 coaching, offering a confidential space for personalised development, enhancing leadership skills, self-awareness, and overall performance. My days vary, encompassing client coaching, workshop preparation, administrative tasks, and personal professional development. The diversity keeps things dynamic and enjoyable, as no two days are ever the same. 


What are some common misconceptions about the manufacturing industry that you encounter, and how does the Manufacturers’ Alliance help businesses to address these challenges?   

Common misconceptions about the manufacturing industry, such as it being dirty, unsafe, low-tech, labor-intensive, low-skilled, low-paying, in decline, bad for the environment, boring, and monotonous, are challenges I’ve encountered for years, particularly during my time as an Ambassador for Apprenticeships in the Yorkshire & Humber region. The Manufacturers’ Alliance (MA) effectively addresses these by showcasing modernisation and innovation, sharing success stories, providing education and training, fostering collaboration among leaders and businesses, promoting sustainability and environmental responsibility, challenging stereotypes, and leveraging digital and social media. Through these efforts, the MA strives to change preconceptions and foster a more accurate understanding of the industry. 


How do you stay updated on industry trends and innovations?  

Staying informed involves continuous learning, networking, and collaboration. Visiting members’ businesses expands my perspective, providing learning opportunities and exposure to innovation. Podcasts are also a favorite, offering convenient learning during commutes or walks. 


How do you help build and foster relationships with members?  

That’s really easy to do as the members are such personable people with forward thinking mindsets and I love spending time with them. I find it very invigorating. I genuinely care about them and their businesses. 


What’s your favourite memory since starting with Manufacturers’ Alliance?  

I have many, but I think my most cherished memory involves a member that I coach had a significant breakthrough with an issue that was holding them back. Contributing in some small way to their positive transformation is incredibly rewarding— It’s those moments that really are my favourite part of my job. 


What’s something that’s surprised you recently?  

That having a mid-life crisis can actually be quite fun. I got my first tattoo and took myself on a solo trip to Las Vegas. I always said I would grow old disgracefully and I’m being true to my word.  


What’s something that you want to improve in the next year?  

In the coming year, I aspire to enhance my professional development. I’m currently pursuing a Level 7 Diploma in Senior Executive Coaching & Mentoring, this endeavour has broadened my perspectives and allowed me to refine my coaching skills. Additionally, I am keen on contributing to the expansion of MA membership, aiming to amplify the organisation’s impact on the executives and businesses we collaborate with. 


What are you looking forward to in the next year?  

There’s a LOT going on for me this year. My daughter is sitting her A-Levels and starting university, she turns 18 and I turn 50 so we’re planning a special holiday to celebrate our milestones.  

I’ll be qualifying as a Level 7 Coach Practitioner and I’ve just bought a house so I can unleash my inner interior designer. I’m excited to indulge in my love and guilty pleasure of buying soft furnishings. I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be a rollercoaster of a year. 

Victoria Hopkins facilitator West Yorkshire Manufacturers Alliance


What do you think sets the Manufacturers’ Alliance apart?  

What distinguishes the Manufacturers’ Alliance? Numerous factors contribute to its uniqueness. Primarily, the MA is unwaveringly committed to addressing the distinct needs of manufacturing companies. This dedication allows us to offer tailored resources, insights, and support, empowering manufacturers to thrive in a competitive industry. The MA provides an extensive array of resources, including industry research, best practices, training programs, networking opportunities, and knowledge sharing, fostering a culture of community and collaboration. Our commitment to continuous improvement, both personally and professionally, resonates across the entire organisation—staff, coaches, and members alike. We steadfastly uphold our core values, cementing the MA’s reputation as a supportive and forward-thinking community. 


How do you see the manufacturing landscape evolving in the next few years, and how is the Manufacturers’ Alliance positioned to help businesses adapt to these changes?  

In the coming years, the manufacturing sector is on the brink of substantial evolution, marked by technical advancements, shifts in global supply chains, and emerging trends in sustainability and digitisation. The adoption of automation, robotics, and AI is anticipated to surge, and the MA is well-positioned to assist its members in harnessing these technologies. We offer resources to facilitate implementation and optimise their utilisation in production processes. As a dedicated organisation, the MA is committed to delivering top-notch guidance, advice, and support, empowering our members to navigate these changes successfully, seize opportunities, and achieve their goals. 


What to do next:  

When you join our peer groups, our facilitators, like Victoria, are dedicated to ensuring you maximise your membership benefits. This includes facilitating connections with other members, posing thought-provoking questions, and guiding you through various avenues to enhance your experience, such as personalised coaching sessions, exclusive events, and access to valuable resources tailored to your professional growth.