Skilled people help aviation company remain a world leader

Posted on by karen.smith

One of the world’s largest aircraft engine maintenance facilities, employing over 1,200 highly skilled people in South Wales, has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

GE Aviation Wales, which has a state-of-the-art facility in Nantgarw, near Cardiff, 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.

GE Aviation Wales, a Large Employer of the Year category finalist, prides itself on its approach to providing career opportunities for talented individuals and works closely with local schools, colleges and universities. The company runs a three-year Apprenticeship programme, as well as offering internships and graduate programmes.

Currently employing 84 apprentices, the Engineering Apprenticeship Programme offers college and work-based training up to NVQ Level 3 and a recognised Technical Certificate, plus Key Skills.

The Engineering Apprenticeship is broken down into two main stages. Year one comprises attending college full time whilst years two and three are completed through full time employment at GE Aviation Wales with day release to college.

The company, which has taken on 81 apprentices who have graduated from the programme over the past five years, also offers Business Administration Apprenticeships. The business apprentices spend three years gaining as much experience and exposure as possible to the different operations of GE Aviation Wales.

“The Apprenticeship Programme is well established and has helped feed fresh talent into our business over the last two decades,” said Chris Doherty, HR Leader at GE Aviation Wales. “We identified the need to create a workforce which could make sure the business is sustainable for the future.

“To ensure we remain world-class leaders we need a workforce which is skilled to the highest standard, and skilled people are the building blocks of a successful business.”

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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