To mark the United Nations’ World Youth Skills Day, we introduced a series of features looking at how Lucite International’s (LI) sites across the world are committed to investing in the learning and development of young people.

One site with a great history of supporting young people is Darwen, UK which has experienced recent success with a Business Administration apprentice who has taken positive steps towards becoming qualified in accountancy while working at LI.

His manager, Tracey Langtree, told us more: “Kallum Banks, whose father and grandfather have both worked at the Darwen site, has gained valuable work experience in the Accounts Payable Department during his time at LI.

“After completing his Business Administration apprenticeship, Kallum went on to start his Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification at Level 2 with the support of a tutor from Blackburn College which he attended for three hours every week. He has already passed the Level 2 stage of the qualification and is well on the way to passing Level 3 out of a possible four. This is great progress in just a couple of short years!

“Once Kallum has passed his AAT qualification, he will then have the opportunity to further his development and obtain a Higher Accountancy qualification.”

Pictured: Kallum Banks, Darwen

Speaking of his time with us, Kallum said: “I have always felt fully supported during my time at LI, whether it be needing help with my studies or giving me the opportunity to develop my knowledge and skills within the business.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with the site accountants each Friday to give me further insight and experience into accountancy. I have also been trained to provide cover to the production planners on site which also gives me an in-depth look into the production side of the business. I feel like the support and opportunities offered to me by LI are giving me the knowledge to pass my AAT diploma, helping me along the journey to becoming a qualified accountant.”

Another way Darwen actively supports the development of young people is by sponsoring them through their degree programme. Rebecca Vose joined LI after completing her A-Level qualifications, and is being sponsored by the Company to gain a degree in Chemical Sciences alongside her work.

Rebecca said: “Working within the Company as well as studying is beneficial because I gain practical experience as well as learning chemical theory.  I apply the background theory from my studies to understanding my everyday work, which in turn expands upon my studies. I really enjoy my work because the practical, hands-on nature of the role helps me in furthering my knowledge and understanding of polymers and the process by which they are manufactured.

“I appreciate being able to see how different areas of the plant operate by spending time in each, which has helped me to understand how the company runs as a whole and how the contributions of each area come together.”