North Wales aerospace company flies away with a national award

Posted on by karen.smith

Mark Preston (right), Apprenticeship Programme operations manager at Airbus, with Gary Griffiths, head of early career programmes, and the Macro Employer of the Year award.

One of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers, which has its wing manufacturing plant in North Wales, has landed a prestigious national award.

Airbus, based at Broughton, Flintshire, was named Macro Employer of the Year at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2013, organised jointly by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). The high profile awards ceremony was held at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport.

One of the company’s employees, Alex Birbeck, 21, was also named Higher Apprentice of the Year.

Alex Birbeck with his Higher Apprentice of the Year award.

Mark Preston, Apprenticeship Programme operations manager at Airbus, said: “This is recognition for all the hard work put in by everybody involved within the organisation, from the apprentices and mentors to the management and our training provider Coleg Cambria.”

Gary Griffiths, head of early careers programmes at Airbus, added: “This award recognises that what we are doing is pretty special and we very proud of our achievements.”

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 Apprenticeship Programme at Airbus is at the cornerstone of its skills strategy, with excellent talent retention and development, ensuring one of the world’s leading manufacturers of aircraft has a highly skilled workforce.

Currently employing 350 apprentices in a range of roles, the company has been a leading organisation in Europe for supporting apprenticeships for many years and continues to lead within the sector.

“Our Apprenticeship Programme helps us as a company to meet our ambition of growing current and future leaders to support growth within our organisation,” said Mark Preston, Apprenticeship Programme operations manager at Airbus.

“We bring and develop young people into our business, some of which come from school or college and offer development to allow those who want it the opportunity to grow into leadership roles.”

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Ken Skates said: “The Apprenticeship Awards allow us to celebrate the range of skills that our young people have to offer as well as the dedication shown by employers and training providers and I’d like to congratulate all of the worthy winners.

“It was a real pleasure to meet such hard-working and ambitious young people who have all achieved so much, as well as the employers and training providers who have gone that extra mile in supporting young people to fulfil their potential. They are all a credit to themselves and an inspiration to others.

“Our recent budget announcement has confirmed an additional £12.5 million to extend our Jobs Growth Wales programme for a fourth year. This means that we can create more than 4,000 extra job opportunities for 16-24 year olds in 2015-16. The Welsh Government will also be investing a further £20 million in 2015-16 to support apprenticeships. This is excellent news for our young people and our employers and will allow us to make a real difference.”

Showcasing excellence in skills development in Wales, the awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC with support from media partner, Media Wales. Award Sponsors are Leadership & Management Wales and ACT Training.

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