For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Nifco and Gestamp Tallent Automotive mark National Apprenticeship Week
TWO North-East car part manufacturers have gone back to the classroom to inspire the next generation of apprentices.
Nifco and Gestamp Tallent Automotive yesterday launched the search for new young talent as part of National Apprenticeship Week.
Nifco, based in Eaglescliffe, near Stockton, makes small plastic parts for Nissan, Ford and Honda, and welcomed Phil Cook, principal of Stockton Riverside College, for a tour of the plant.
The company employs three students from the college, James Harrington, 19, Ryan Brain, 18 and 16-year-old Robbie Thwaites, and Mr Cook got see how the teenagers are helping the company's expansion.
Mr Harrington said: “It has been great and I am getting the best of both worlds.
“I feel like I've learned so much and having some hands-on experience will stand me in really good stead for finding a job in the future.”
John Short, Nifco operations director, said the company, which has just moved into £8.5million premises and invested £11m in state-of-the-art machinery, relied on a strong workforce to continue its expansion.
He said: “The site is now full to capacity, we will be building a further operations facility, and as part of these ambitious plans we need to ensure we have a workforce with the relevant skills to enable us to achieve our goals.
“My career began as a polymer technician apprentice, it provided me with an excellent grounding and that is what we are providing for our apprentices.
“They’re an important part of our business.”
Gestamp, which designs, develops and produces parts for Volvo, Ford and Jaguar, embraced National Apprentice Week, setting challengers for Year 11 pupils from Woodham Academy, in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.
The company, also based in Newton Aycliffe, urged students to prepare presentations ahead of a business pitch which could lead to a job.
The scheme is now in its fourth year and the firm has already recruited eight youngsters from the school.
Skills body Semta will support the young apprentices at the business, and David Pearson, Gestamp's training controller, said it was recruiting up to 18 apprentices this year.
He said: “All students can apply and they take on tasks such as purchasing, design, and a presentation to directors in the boardroom.
“We have invested a lot of time and money but it has been well worth it.
“These young people are our future toolmakers, maintenance technicians and managers.”