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Cammell Laird apprenticeship programme lauded at Awards ceremony

posted on May 27, 2010 categories In The Community

Cammell Laird helped fly the flag for Merseyside business this week at the National Apprenticeship Service Awards North West finals at Manchester’s Midland Hotel.

The world famous shipyard and engineering firm beat off stiff competition from many businesses across the North West to be named in the top three ‘large’ employers in region for employing apprentices.

Cammell Laird HR Manager Danny Hart attended the evening to accept an award with two apprentices and the Company’s three mentors from the apprenticeship programme.

“It is hugely satisfying to be named one of the best employers in the region for employing apprentices,” he said. “Apprentices are at the very heart beat of Cammell Laird. The business has a skills gap to bridge and they are the future of the Company. The apprenticeship programme is the vehicle for filling that gap and giving the shipyard the ability to grow. In the short term the apprentices benefit the yard by increasing productivity. In the longer term are fundamental to the yard’s ability to grow and we already have an order book stretching far into the future. Today’s apprentices are tomorrow’s management and we are aware of the need to nurture that.”

Mr Hart said a key benefit to business from employing apprentices is its work for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

“In 2008 we signed a through life support contract to maintain 11 ships in Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA),” he said. “This contract is worth up to £1bn over 25 years. A key reason why the yard was awarded the contract was to build familiarity with the fleet to deliver greater consistency and understanding of its needs. Having the apprentices work on the contract, and learn about the RFA, is therefore of huge benefit to the yard as it seeks to deliver the contract over the next two decades.”

Mr Hart said for many of the youngsters the apprenticeship presents a career opportunity they simply would not get elsewhere.

“A Cammell Laird apprenticeship effectively gives them not only a passport to a well paid job in the yard but also career that could take them around the world. For those able enough the yard will continue to sponsor their education through further education and University.”

Mr Hart said the business is further benefiting from community goodwill by employing apprentices.

“This year a group of apprentices undertook a charity challenge to raise £5000 for the Youth charity Fairbridge by approaching suppliers of the yard for sponsorship of a calendar,” he said. “The team presented their idea to the Chief Executive and then went and pitched for sponsorship with more than 20 business owners including senior members of big corporate businesses. The fundraising campaign was such a spectacular success the apprentices smashed their own target raising nearly £30,000.”