Wall Colmonoy (UK) has launched a bespoke apprenticeship programme in order to meet the future needs of the business, develop its next generation of engineers, and continue with its long-term commitments to support the local community.
Over the next four years, Wall Colmonoy will recruit four apprentices each year.
The company partnered with three local Colleges, Coleg Sîr Gar, Neath College and Gower College, to identify suitable candidates for their new programme, which started in early September 2015.
While the company has recruited apprentices for many years, it was determined that a more specific learning and development programme was required to meet the unique needs of the business and to ensure the development of specialist skills and technical knowledge needed for its growth. In partnership with Industry Wales and the colleges, the apprenticeship programme has been developed based upon the principles of ‘the traditional four year apprenticeship’, combining work-based training with college based assessments.
This provides the apprentices with the opportunity to develop the right balance of classroom, on-the job skills, and experiences needed to succeed in the workplace.
The apprenticeship programme was designed to introduce the apprentices to the processes and techniques used within the three key business units – alloy products, precision components and aerobraze.
Apprenticeship Programme Manager, Keith Birmingham explains, “Wall Colmonoy’s apprenticeship scheme is an excellent foundation of engineering excellence.
“All apprentices have a unique opportunity to work with and learn from experienced engineers.
“This ensures that key skills are passed on to the younger generation, thus retaining these key-skills in the local area.”
The four chosen apprentices receive tailor made hands-on experience within a structured programme, coupled with robust support, mentoring and training.
Steph Curtis, Managing Director, stated that success was essentially down to having the right attitude, skills, drive and ambition.
He emphasised, “Wall Colmonoy is very focused on its long term future and profitable growth, and our commitment to creating a Wall Colmonoy Apprenticeship Scheme is an essential part of our strategy to meet those objectives.
“This is an exciting time for the business, and it is a pleasure to see the quality of youngsters that we have attracted to Wall Colmonoy.”
An open day held in January 2016 invited students and tutors from the three Colleges to attend presentations about the programme and tour the Pontardawe Plant (pictured).