Mabey Bridge’s apprenticeship programme has been recognised by RenewableUK’s Wales Green Energy Awards 2014 with the company winning the Contribution to Skills and Training category. The UK’s largest onshore turbine tower supplier’s apprenticeship scheme was singled out for praise for the way it welcomes and develops young people entering the workplace, providing a supportive and positive environment for apprentices.

Mabey Bridge’s apprenticeship programme is now in its ninth year and the company currently employs 27 apprentices (approximately 5% of the total workforce). Such is the quality of the programme that 95% of apprentices are still with the company.

The apprenticeship framework has been developed with the company’s partner Coleg Gwent, Wales’ largest further education college. Apprentices are given tailored support and benefits throughout the process and attend college on a day-release basis for theory and practical training. They are each supported by an internal mentor and there is a dedicated training officer who oversees individual development programmes.

Mark Coia, managing director of Mabey Bridge Renewables said, “We are extremely proud that the renewable energy sector has recognised the work the Mabey Bridge training team have dedicated to developing our apprentice scheme, and hope that the demonstrable long term value of investing in such a programme inspires other companies to follow suit. If the UK and Wales is to reach its carbon reduction targets the industry needs to invest in young people to help design and build the renewable energy infrastructure of tomorrow. Long-term apprenticeship schemes that intelligently combine on-the-job experience and classroom learning have got to be part of the solution”.

In February Mabey Bridge was recognised at the International Learning Awards winning the Bronze Award in the category of Apprenticeship Programme of the Year. The company also won Large Employer of the Year at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2013.