Launching an apprenticeship programme at Wrexham recycling company Mainetti four years ago has improved productivity and workforce morale and reduced staff turnover.
Now the company, based on Wrexham Industrial Estate, has been shortlisted for a Vocational Qualification (VQ) Award for Wales. Mainetti is one of three finalists competing for the VQ Employer of the Year Award.
The company will discover if it has won the coveted award at a ceremony to be held at St David’s Hotel, Cardiff on June 6, the eve of VQ Day on June 7.
The VQ Awards, which celebrate those who use technical, practical and vocational qualifications to achieve success, are organised by the Welsh Government, National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), ColegauCymru / CollegesWales and Qualifications Wales.
The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
Mainetti has a multi-national workforce of 230 and recycles and redistributes garment hangers for major retailers. Productivity has increased 20 per cent since the company began its apprenticeship programme.
Working with award-winning learning provider Cambrian Training Company, Mainetti initially introduced apprenticeships for supervisors who then became mentors to support new apprentices.
The programme was expanded to the wider workforce last September and the company now has 45 apprentices on its books working towards levels two and three qualifications in sustainable resource management and a higher apprenticeship (level four) in systems and operations management.
One of the company’s first apprentices, Ceri McLean, has been promoted to production manager and is now working towards a higher apprenticeship. Another role model is production worker Joanna Nawrot who is aiming to become a training assessor and shares her infectious enthusiasm for learning to workmates, some of whom she helps by translating technical material into Polish.
In addition to training and upskilling the workforce, Mainetti sees apprenticeships as a way of rewarding staff, many of whom speak English as their second language, for their loyalty.
“We have always worked hard to try to integrate everyone into the team because being able to communicate well plays a huge role in the success of every part of work life and increases wellbeing,”
said Mikolaj Pietrzyk, Mainetti’s site manager.
Heather Martin, head of Cambrian Training Company’s business unit, praised Mainetti’s “outstanding” commitment to each member of staff, which she said began long before apprenticeships were introduced.”