Today’s glass packaging requires the highest skills in many areas of technology and management, and to secure the industry’s future, companies and their national associations are investing heavily in apprenticeship schemes.

Ardagh Group, one of Europe’s leading glass manufacturers, has developed successful programmes throughout the UK and Germany.

Ardagh’s apprentice scheme has gained a number of prestigious awards.

In Germany, Ardagh’s Nienburg plant in Lower Saxony has become one of the first manufacturing facilities to be awarded a ‘Best Place to Learn’ seal of approval.

This certification, processed through the respected quality audit agency AUBI-plus, recognises exceptional performance in the type and quality of apprentice training within a company.

What was particularly pleasing for Ardagh was that it achieved an almost unprecedented mark of 525 points out of the maximum 612.

One of Ardagh’s UK glass plants at Barnsley in Yorkshire is also celebrating the success of two of its apprentices.

Tom Bagley, 23, a machine repair fitter, became 2016 Apprentice of the Year in the annual British Glass Focus Awards.

Against stiff competition, Tom was singled out for his exceptional attitude and highly professional approach to work, where, according to the judges “he has made a measurable impact on efficiency and productivity.”

20 year old Electrical Engineering Apprentice at Barnsley, Chloe Miller has received the highly prestigious Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) Student of Excellence Award for 2016 in recognition of her record as the most productive, motivated and high achieving student in her year.

From the company’s Scottish plant in Irvine, 20-year old Mark McColl has become the Irvine Incorporated Trades Apprentice of The Year for 2016, and his colleagues, Ally Bell (20) and Scott Cairns (22) received high commendations.

Magdalena Kowalska, HR Business Partner for Ardagh Group, Glass Europe, comments: “Our apprentice training schemes play a vital part of our workforce development programmes, and for one of our plants to receive the accolade of ‘Best Place To Learn’ is a real honour.

“Whilst we recognise the achievements and dedication of all our apprentices, it is nevertheless welcome that at the very highest level certain individuals, in this case Chloe and Tom, also receive national recognition.”

Caption: Tom Bagley is presented with the Best Apprentice of the Year Rose Bowl by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, The Lord Mountevans.