An apprenticeship school and a full-time apprentice trainer are just two of the steps Tonyrefail-based engineering plastics company Ensinger has undertaken to ensure it maintains a high-quality workforce.
This has been backed by a £150,000 investment in manual lathes and milling machines, CNC milling and turning machines and simulators to enhance the practical training of the current batch of eight apprentices.
Now the investment in apprentices has been recognised as the company has been shortlisted for the Medium Employer of the Year Award at next month’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, the annual celebration of outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships.
Thirty-four finalists in a dozen categories are in the running for the prestigious awards, which will be presented at a high-profile ceremony at the new International Convention Centre Wales, Newport on October 24.
The awards showcase the successes of the best learners, employers, tutors and assessors in Wales who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeship and Apprenticeship programmes.
Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru has Openreach, the UK’s digital network business, as its premier sponsor this year. The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
Ensinger’s apprentices work towards NVQ Level 2 Performing Engineering Operations, NVQ Level 3 Extended Diploma in Mechanical Engineering or BTEC Level 3 in Mechanical Engineering.
They all receive a uniform, a personal toolbox and undergo regular monitoring, as well as quarterly review plus external assessments. The four-year apprenticeships are supported by a day-release at Coleg y Cymoedd, Bridgend College, Newport and District Training Association and Training Services Wales.
Ensinger reaches out to schools and colleges to promote its inclusive apprenticeship programme, attends job fairs and offers work placements and experience. The company works hard through its promotional material to ensure that disability, ethnicity and gender are no barrier to entering its programme.
The family-run, German-owned company, with an annual gross turnover of £40m, believes that taking control of its training will bridge the engineering talent gap, increase staff retention and increase knowledge-exchange which is vital to UK innovation.
Gary Davies, Ensinger Director, said:
“Apprentices bring energy, enthusiasm and innovation to our company. The programme allows us to tailor training to the exact standard and ability that is needed in our workforce and industry.”
Minister for the Economy and Transport, Ken Skates, congratulated Ensinger and all the other shortlisted finalists.
“Our Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship and Traineeship programmes are helping increasing numbers of people to gain the skills and experience that we know businesses across all sectors of the economy in Wales really need,” he said.
“The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate and showcase the achievements of everyone involved in those programmes from our star apprentices and employers, to learning providers and trainees.”