15 Apprentices Join the Glass Manufacturing Industry

15 apprentices started work in the glass manufacturing industry across the UK this week as part of a recruitment drive and partnership between the British Glass Manufacturers’ Confederation and Siemens plc.

Following a Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed by the two organisations at the Glass Focus Conference in May, this new partnership will pave the way for closer skills and training collaboration across the sector.

It will also further the aims of The Glass Academy, a training and skills development initiative co-funded by Government and the glass industry, and set up by British Glass, the trade association. The key objectives are to boost apprenticeship numbers, develop more effective links between employers, training providers and learners and to up-skill the current workforce. This will enable the sector to compete in manufacturing markets on a global scale and secure the future of an industry currently worth an estimated £2.5billion to the UK annually.

Siemens Industry sector is a core provider, assisting British Glass and The Glass Academy to deliver quality apprenticeships in key regions of the North West, Yorkshire and Humberside and the South East. This includes on-the-job training and places at Siemens accredited Colleges, with rigorously high levels of training and assessment. At the end of three years, the candidates will have completed an Advanced Apprenticeship in Operations and Maintenance Engineering, gaining a BTEC Diploma and an NVQ Level 3 qualification.

This first cohort of apprentices will be based at manufacturing sites in Sheffield, Leeds, Knottingley, Chester and Barking at companies including Allied Glass, Quinn Glass, Ardagh, Viridor and Poulten & Graf.

Dave Dalton, CEO of British Glass, said: “Creating industry-ready skills and providing this alternative occupational route for young people from all walks of life is critical to address the serious skills shortages we face, particularly in UK manufacturing and specifically within the glass industry.

“Apprenticeships are a vital part of our approach to developing engineering skills to secure the future of our industry, providing young people with an invaluable opportunity to learn on the job and allowing employers to build a workforce with the practical skills their business needs. Siemens has a strong reputation within the skills and training arena so we are delighted to be partnering with them in an effort to put the power back in the arms of employers when it comes to recruiting and training apprentices.

“Our apprenticeship programme demonstrates our support of Government’s efforts to revive UK manufacturing through long-term growth and to improve the quality of vocational training.”

Martin Hottass, who is responsible for Apprenticeships at Siemens, added: “It has been fantastic working with the Glass Academy and the wider team at British Glass. We are already seeing the mutual benefits of our partnership, bringing more talented young people into industry and providing a first-class apprenticeship programme that is on a par with traditional educational routes. We are giving young people a chance to ‘earn while they learn’ and to develop tangible workplace skills along with continuing their education.”

A recent UKCES survey on Employer Perspectives* found that while over 200,000 workplaces in the UK employ apprentices, this represents only 13% of all employers.

More info: www.theglassacademy.org

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