Skilled engineer driving Deeside business forward

Posted on by karen.smith

A Deeside engineering company that considers its Apprenticeship programme a key part of recruiting, retaining and developing engineers, has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

DRB Group is one of 28 finalists in nine categories of the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, organised by the Welsh Government in partnership with the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW).

The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru recognise the outstanding achievements of learners, employers and providers involved in the delivery of quality Apprenticeships across Wales. Apprenticeship and Traineeship programmes in Wales are part funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.

The winners will be announced at a high profile awards presentation ceremony at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on Wednesday, October 24, where the winners of the National Training Awards for Wales will also be recognised. The joint awards which will be attended by around 300 key stakeholders from the vocational education and training sector across Wales.

Sponsor of the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, which aim to showcase excellence in skills development in Wales, is Pearson and media partner is Media Wales.

Established more than 30 years ago, DRB Group provides integrated manufacturing, maintenance and project engineering to clients throughout north Wales and the north west of England from its base in Deeside. The company is a Medium Employer of the Year Award finalist.

Employing 175 skilled staff, including more than 100 engineers, the business realises that its strength is the quality of its skilled engineers who work with clients, some of which are the largest manufacturing and processing companies in the region.

“The quality of the service we provide to our customers is, to a very large part, dependant on the skills, experience and motivation of our engineering staff,” said Human Resources Manager Keith Vivian.

“A key part of our engineering development programme is supporting a number of Apprenticeship programmes in disciplines such as mechanical engineering, fabrication craft and electrical engineering.”

Over recent years, the company has increased the number of Apprenticeships available, which are delivered through Deeside College. Five Apprentices were recruited this year, taking the total current number to 13.

One previous apprentice, Jacob Foy, has just completed an Engineering Degree and is about to embark on a Masters. He is also the winner of the John Arbuthnott Scholarship for outstanding academic achievement.

The company allocates a mentor to each apprentice who guides them through the entire Apprenticeship programme.

DRB also encourages its apprentices to take part in charity and community projects, as this helps them to develop their teamwork and life skills. In addition, the supports a programme in local schools and colleges to promote engineering as a profession.

Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert said: “These awards recognise excellence by individuals, employers and learning providers in delivering training. I am delighted with the standard of this year’s finalists and the variety across all ages and sectors, which shows the strength of the skills being delivered in Wales.

“All the finalists have an inspiring story to tell and are great ambassadors for apprenticeship and other programmes in Wales.

“The skills acquired through programmes, such as Apprenticeships, provide great benefits to individuals and employers, helping make Welsh businesses more competitive.

“The Welsh Government is committed to creating more apprenticeship opportunities for young people in Wales and continuing to support employers who are willing to offer high quality apprenticeship places.”

The NTfW is a network 116 quality assured work based training providers with links to 35,000 employers across Wales.

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