Norco has opened a new training centre in a purpose-built facility to give hands-on training for new apprentices to tackle the local skills shortage.
Having won several long-term work contracts in 2018/19, Norco’s forecasted work output has dramatically increased and they require additional skilled workers to meet this demand. An external recruitment campaign was carried out but the volume of skilled workers that Norco required was not available in the local area.
As a result, Norco have taken the initiative to set-up their own training centre to produce multi-skilled personnel that can move across the company’s five manufacturing facilities.
Mark Northey, the Managing Director of Norco, was fully involved with the inception of the training centre from the start and said: “Being based on the south coast, we are in the heart of the UK marine industry and we struggled to recruit capable people. This was a clear sign that we needed to capitalise on the skills already within the company and pass this knowledge on to enthusiastic people willing to learn.”
“As a business this is an excellent opportunity to train staff to the high-standard that we necessitate at Norco. Also, the apprenticeship gives people a chance to enter into the composites industry and have highly sort-after skills and qualifications for life.”
The apprenticeship program starts in the new training centre where the apprentices are trained over a 6-month period in the 4 types of application that are carry out at Norco – Hand Laminating, Finishing, Infusion & Prep-preg.
After the initial 6-month training stage is complete, the apprentices will progress into the production shop floor for a further 30-months. Accompanying their work experience, the apprentices will complete an NVQ in Composite Engineering Level 2 & 3 and a B-Tech Diploma in Composite Engineering Level 3 in conjunction with Yeovil College over the 3-year Apprenticeship.
Norco plan to recruit for apprentices every 6-months with their next intake in July 2019. This is an encouraging sign for the composites industry in the UK as there is a high demand for British quality and expertise.