Redcar car components manufacturer Elring Klinger has encouraged other firms to consider the benefits of running apprenticeship programmes.
The expert engineering firm has hailed the success of its 29 apprentices who are being trained by the Northern Skills Group, suggesting the move has helped safeguard the skills it requires.
Elring Klinger’s cohort is employed across various functions in the business – including production, administration and engineering.
Theanna De Sancho, training officer at Elring Klinger and an ambassador for the National Apprenticeships Service, called on other firms to reap the benefits of training staff using this route.
She explained: “We’ve found the apprenticeship route to be a really efficient way of making sure we have the skills we need in our company.
“In fact, it’s been so effective with new trainees that we’ve introduced a programme for a group of 50 adult apprentices – existing staff who we want to invest in and continue to upskill.
“Another cohort of 50 are due to start, so by 2019 we’ll have put more than 100 adult apprentices through the programme.”
Staff at Elring Klinger are responsible for making a range of components used in car manufacturing gaskets and thermal management systems.
Apprentices start a four or five-year programme at Middlesbrough College’s STEM Centre, where they’re taught by tutors from industry backgrounds.
They move onto placements at Elring Klinger’s Redcar facility, and then full-time roles in disciplines such as multi-skilled maintenance, computer-aided design and production engineering.
Third and fourth year apprentices often get the opportunity to work at the firm’s headquarters in Germany where they experience many different parts of the global business.
Connor Darby, 21, from Boosbeck, is just one of the apprentices to have come through the Northern Skills Group-administered programme.
He said: “Coming from Middlesbrough College into the company provided a great start to my career at Elring Klinger.
“I learned from tutors who had been in the type of roles I’ll go into – and that insight is really valuable when you’re learning.”
Theanna, a former apprentice herself, added: “We like working with a quality local organisation like Northern Skills Group.
“We know the STEM Centre is home to apprentices at firms similar to ours and that’s important as it means our trainees mix with industry peers, sharing skills and knowledge.”