Expanding company reaping rewards of skilled workforce

Posted on by karen.smith

Nigel Hyde, training co-ordinator at Mabey Bridge Ltd and Andrew Sutton, training manager, with apprentices.

Increasing self-confidence so apprentices can make an active contribution to the development and success of a Chepstow business has resulted in it being shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

Mabey Bridge is one of 36 finalists in 13 categories of the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2013, organised jointly by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). The business is shortlisted for the Large Employer of the Year award.

The awards recognise the outstanding achievements of learners, employers and providers involved in the delivery of quality apprenticeships and other work-based learning programmes across Wales. The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with the support of the European Social Fund.

The winners will be announced at a high profile awards ceremony at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on Friday, October 18.

Mabey Bridge Ltd is one of the world’s leading specialist suppliers of quality steel bridging, infrastructure, wind turbine towers and heavy plated structural steelwork, employing over 600 people. It launched its apprenticeship programme eight years ago to ensure a steady supply of fabricators into the business.

With increasing demand for fabricators and welders within the business, the company expanded its training programme after finding it increasingly difficult in recent years to recruit qualified quality technicians and industrial painters.

“Our expectation is that the apprentices will not only meet these business needs but will go on and develop into the managers and professional engineers of the future, so securing the long-term reputation of the company,” said Andrew Sutton, training manager at Mabey Bridge Ltd.

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Ken Skates said: “The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru remind us of the incredible wealth of talent that Wales has to offer and the outstanding achievements of Wales’ learners, employers and learning providers.

“Apprenticeships play an integral role in our economy. Not only do they provide essential skills and qualifications, but are in themselves life-changing opportunities for young people and, for employers, a major investment that’s paying real dividend to their bottom line and in the skills of their workforce.

“We know that apprenticeships deliver real business benefits and that’s why the Welsh Government, with support from the European Social Fund, continues to invest heavily in opportunities for young people to take up apprenticeships and continues to support employers who want to invest in the future of their workforce.

“Through their passion and dedication, the finalists announced at this year’s awards will inspire countless others to strive for excellence and demonstrate the tremendous impact that vocational training can have. I wish all of our finalists the very best as they continue to make great contributions in their chosen fields.”

Showcasing excellence in skills development in Wales, the awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC with support from media partner, Media Wales.

More than 300 key stakeholders from the vocational education and training sector across Wales are expected to attend the high profile awards ceremony, where guests will dine out with chefs from the Welsh National Culinary Team.

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