Essity apprentices
BACK: Kieron Maines, Teo Birsan, Ben Clark, Lee Brown, Matthew Burn, Matty Bloomer and Josh Marks. FRONT: Shane Graham, Liam Flannigan and Ben Johnson.

Member Article

Tissue maker bucks national trend on apprentice recruitment

Prudhoe-based tissue maker Essity continues to buck the national trend in apprentice recruitment with another 14 new recruits - just weeks after new figures show the number of apprentice starts have fallen nationally following the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy.

Essity, formerly SCA Hygiene, manufactures the popular ‘Velvet’ brand of family toilet tissue. The company has been running its award-winning apprenticeship programme since 2004, to grow their own talent and tackle the current skills shortage in the manufacturing and engineering sectors.

The company has now taken on 10 process and four technical apprentices aged between 16 and 26, which boosts the total number of youngsters currently in paid education and training with the tissue giant to 36.

Ian Callender, training officer at Essity, explains: “We launched our apprentice scheme 13 years ago as a direct response to the needs of the business, which was experiencing the impacts of an ageing workforce and skills gap in the engineering and advanced manufacturing sector. Since 2004 we have recruited 140 apprentices with the vast majority now employed on site.

“During this time we have continued to invest and develop the programme to meet our business needs and changes in legislation. Apprenticeships provide us with an effective succession plan that ensures we continue to recruit the right people with the right skills to fit in place across all areas of the business.

“Our apprenticeships cover operational, technical and business support functions. They continue to play a vital role in helping to safeguard the future of the Mill, grow the business, increase productivity, efficiency and reduce operating costs.”

Essity employs 420 people at Prudhoe Mill and is the second largest manufacturer in Northumberland. The scheme combines practical workshops and classroom-based theory with tuition and support from Gateshead College, the company’s external learning provider.

Its apprenticeship programme is aligned to the Advanced Modern Apprenticeship framework and designed to develop individuals to take on a full-time position. The company is also a Regional Ambassador for Apprenticeships and has received recognition from the National Apprenticeship Service and the Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills for its commitment to realising youthful potential.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by publicrelations .

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