Stork’ apprenticeship programme praised by Business Secretary

Stork welcomed Business Secretary, Vince Cable, to its heat treatment facility in Southport, UK during a recent visit (18 October) to discuss the company’s apprenticeship programme.

The Secretary of State met four Stork apprentices; Alex Smith; Ben Pepper; Nick Fairhurst and Tom Harrison, to see how they are making an impact on the company in highly-skilled jobs across the electrical and engineering departments, designing and manufacturing a range of heat-treatment equipment.

Business Secretary, Vince Cable, said: "Stork is a good example of an employer making the most out of apprenticeships, to the benefits of both themselves and local people. It was really useful for me to see how the company works with the local college to offer these much-needed opportunities in the region.”

Stork established its apprenticeship programme in partnership with Southport College in 2011 and takes on two engineering students from the College each year for a five year apprenticeship. Following successful completion of the programme, the apprentices are offered full time positions at the company.

In addition to day-to-day duties, such as metal work fabrication, welding and electrical equipment assembly and wiring, the apprentices must deliver a project to design, manufacture and install a small furnace at the College as a donation from Stork. This assists in developing key technical attributes, as well personal skills such as responsibility and working autonomously.

Nigel Bleackley, Product Line Director - Cooperheat Equipment for Stork, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Business Secretary to our site. Stork is committed to developing and retaining the best talent and our apprentice partnership with Southport College is critical to this. The quality of apprentices has been excellent and they have all shown a keen willingness and enthusiasm to learn and share their own ideas”.

“The engineering industry as whole is experiencing a skills shortage and we believe that training and nurturing young talent is crucial to solving this. In addition, developing these apprentices goes towards securing our and British industry’s future.”

Business Secretary, Vince Cable, continued: "I urge other employers in the North West to follow Stork's example, and offer a young person a valuable job. We will support you. The Government offers a £1500 incentive to smaller companies who take on an apprentice aged 16 to 24."

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