Three Lucite International (LI) employees are among the first in the country to complete pioneering new employer-led Trailblazer apprenticeships.

SMT Certificates were Presented to 3  Ex Forces Apprentices at Lucite's Cassel Works in Billingham on Monday 3rd October. Left to right, Neil Middleton Shift Manager, Craig Buckle, Jamie Armitage, Site Operations Manager, James Curtis-Dawson, Melanie Jury Site Director, Craig Buckle and Faith Hambley  03/10/16  Pic Doug Moody Photography

L-R: Neil Middleton, Shift Manager, Craig Buckle, Jamie Armitage, Site Operations Manager, James Curtis-Dawson, Melanie Jury, Site Director, Derek Hornsey and Faith Hambley.

Craig Buckle, James Curtis-Dawson and Derek Hornsey are the first in the UK to successfully complete the new Science Manufacturing Technician (SMT) Apprenticeship at Level 3. After completing a year studying at TTE and a year training at LI’s Cassel site, the trio of former servicemen are now employed full time at Cassel as Production Technicians.

The Government’s Trailblazer programme is aimed at making all apprenticeships employer-led in order to reduce the gap between employer needs and apprentice skills. It has been launched ahead of proposed reforms to introduce new apprenticeship standards by 2017.

As a leading Chemical Engineer employer and member of the original employer group tasked with designing and implementing the Trailblazer apprenticeships, LI has been a key player both at a local and national level in enabling apprentices to be fully job-ready upon completion of their training programmes.

SMT Certificates were Presented to 3  Ex Forces Apprentices at Lucite's Cassel Works in Billingham on Monday 3rd October. Left to right, James Curtis-Dawson,  Craig Buckle and Derek Hornsey  03/10/16  Pic Doug Moody Photography

 

This success looks set to continue, as seven more SMT apprentices training at LI’s Cassel site will undergo their end assessment in 2017.

Jess Bell, LI’s Learning and Development Manager, who was actively involved in getting the new apprenticeship standards established, said: “We were delighted to be part of the development of this new approach to apprenticeships and it has proved hugely successful.  Our own apprentices have set the bar very high and we look forward to our next cohort completing the final part of their apprenticeships by next summer.”

Steve Grant, Managing Director of TTE, said: “TTE has a long relationship with LI and we are proud to have worked with the company on this ground-breaking programme.  Trailblazer apprenticeships demonstrate how vocational learning is evolving to meet the requirements of specialist industries and LI has shown how engagement by employers from concept to delivery of training programmes can reap benefits for the business and its sector.

“Craig, James and Derek are highly-motivated individuals who were exemplary trainees throughout their apprenticeships.  They will be a real asset to the company and we wish them well in their careers.”

Christine Sakhardande, Head of SIAS (Science Industry Assessment Service), added: “this is a real achievement for these apprentices and their teams and I’d like to congratulate them on successful completion of their end-point assessment. Lucite International should be congratulated on this pioneering approach to training.”

 

Both images: Doug Moody Photography