Bringing back the Spirit (and practice) of ’45, when apprenticeship and training was the rule for all


This site usually focusses on the achievements of current manufacturers or food producers, but today people laying the foundations for future production are in the news.


kirsty apprentice

On a sister site last year we noted the ‘graduation’ of Kirsty, Professional Polishing’s latest apprentice.

It’s good to read that Steelite of Stoke has a well-developed apprenticeships scheme and is keen to encourage other businesses in the sector and generally to boost apprenticeships to counteract the decline in the skilled labour pool. Steelite has featured twice on this website, in a general overview of the ceramics industry in April and with reference to Midlands ceramics manufacturers’ association with the region’s MEP, Phil Bennion last year.

Other manufacturers’ provision of apprenticeships noted on this site:

Lift Engineering of Cradley Heath, here.

Recently Nexus Point: EEF’s new ‘state-of-the-art’ engineering, manufacturing and technology training site to open soon in Witton was highlighted.

It has also been reported that since 2011, Brown and Holmes has worked with South Staffs College in Tamworth to develop an apprentice scheme that brings back basic hand and craft skills and is geared towards today’s shop-floor requirements:

Andel Plastics also values its apprentices.

Opportunities for aspiring food producers are increasing: the Farmers Weekly records that agricultural apprenticeship numbers have doubled in England over the past three years to 850 in 2010-11.

agricultural apprenticeships

Farming apprentices follow frameworks designed by Lantra (a national training organisation for land based industries). They are encouraged to choose components that fit with their farm work, while other elements can be studied at college.

Apprentices usually work on the farm four days a week and go to agricultural college for the remaining day and most assessment is carried out on the farm.

Euro MP Phil Bennion was ‘Apprentice for a Day’ with ceramics manufacturer Steelite International in Stoke on Thursday July 18th

phillip bennion2The visit was designed to highlight Steelite’s best practice in training apprentices, give Phil a hands-on insight into the apprenticeship experience and also enable him to hear views from managers and apprentices on their experiences and priorities which he can take back to Ministers, MEPs on the Employment Committee of the European Parliament and the Commission.

The Manufacturer website reported that the National Apprenticeship Service had  almost 370,000 applications for apprenticeship positions between February and April this year. Applications in the engineering, manufacturing and technology sector increased by over 10% for the period – up to 59,520 from 53,560 last year. Demand still outstrips supply however, with manufacturing and engineering employers posting 5446 apprentice vacancies – an increase of 22.6% on February to April in 2012.

We hope and expect to see further support for apprenticeships from MPs and MEPs in other parties with outreach in schools at the receptive primary stage – and also group visits to a range of workplaces offering opportunities.


One Response to Bringing back the Spirit (and practice) of ’45, when apprenticeship and training was the rule for all

  1. […] the WM Producers’ site there was news of other apprenticeships and the ‘graduation’ of Kirsty, Professional […]

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