A FAMILY-run firm whose workforce is made up from 40 percent of former apprentices has been shortlisted for the North-East final of a major national award.

Tees Components, which is based at Skelton near Saltburn, produces precision parts round-the-clock for the marine, defence, nuclear and offshore energy sectors.

Over the last five decades, the firm has awarded apprenticeships to people from across the North-East after being founded in 1963.

But following its “focus on apprenticeships”, it has since been nominated in the National Apprenticeship Award’s SME Employer category, which is being held on September 16 at the Newcastle Gateshead Hilton.

As part of the North-East final, winners will progress to a national final later this year.

Tees Component’s managing director, Sharon Lane said: “It is fantastic to be recognised for our commitment to apprenticeships, especially from such a prestigious national awards scheme.

“Apprenticeships have always formed the bedrock of our workforce development and will continue to do so, which is why it is so important for employers like Tees Components to have good relationships with schools, colleges and training providers.”

The firm formerly created roles for an electrical engineering apprentice, a business administration apprentice and up to four machine apprentices each year.

But as part of its expansion programme, it has recruited two further mechanical engineering apprentices.

Ms Lane said: “I am extremely passionate about skills retention in the North-East and ensuring our local young people can have access to positive work experience and employment opportunities.

“I have seen first-hand the benefits of apprenticeships, for my own career, but also for a large group of talented people we have in the business.

“We are keen, as well as supporting apprenticeships for our business, to also encourage other employers to do the same.”

The firm said it has kept up its strong links with surrounding schools to offer work placements, factory tours, mock interview practice and CV workshops, which it believed was necessary to develop young people’s skills and confidence.

In June, the chairman of Tees Components and Middlesbrough-based Dormor Machine & Engineering Ltd, received an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours. Clive Wood was awarded the Member of the British Empire for his services to industry, skills and voluntary services to the community.