Value of apprentices highlighted by local manufacturer during National Apprenticeship Week

As National Apprenticeship Week kicks off today (9th March 2015), Chippenham based Fascia Graphics highlights the value of apprenticeship schemes in the UK, and says that effectively run schemes can help businesses achieve their growth ambitions.

Two Fascia apprentices have been with the company for six months as it aims to double its turnover over the next four years through GrowthAccelerator, a government backed service led by some of the UK’s most successful growth specialists.

Fascia has partnered with Wiltshire Enterprise, the business training division of Wiltshire College which incorporates Avon Vale Training, on its apprenticeship programme. Fascia’s two apprentices, who are both in production support roles have swiftly gained working knowledge of their role in the production of membrane keyboards, graphic overlays and labels, whilst also gaining a nationally recognised qualification.

Kieran Banham started as a trainee production engineer, where he is learning all the technical aspects of the products, along with quoting, loading orders, scheduling and purchasing. Star Hackett has started as a trainee graphic artist and has been designing artworks for many of Fascia’s products ready for manufacturing.

Both apprentices will be completing on-site training as well as a college course. Kieran will be completing a Business Administration Apprenticeship Programme, whilst Star will be completing a Design Apprenticeship Programme, both of which will take approximately 12-18 months to complete.

Gary Knowles, operations manager at Chippenham Based, Fascia Graphics, explained how the apprentices not only help Fascia grow but give the apprentices essential skills: “The government’s approach to backing more apprenticeships has allowed us to offer the scheme to several young adults in the past - who have now entered full-time employment with the company after successfully completing their programmes.”

“The main benefit of taking the apprentices on is that it allows us to mould them into Fascia team members before they start on a permanent basis.”

Trainee production engineer Kieran Banham said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Fascia. I think the opportunities provided to learn in the industry are invaluable, and the fact that I’m also gaining a qualification while I work for Fascia is a fantastic bonus!”

Fascia currently serves in excess of 800 customers both domestically and globally. Its reputation has been built largely on its customer service and fast lead times, which ensure efficient delivery of the highest quality product at extremely competitive prices. The company’s £1m investment has also led to a significant reduction in its carbon footprint.

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