Ancillaries supplier, Summit Systems, is lending its support to what it describes as an “exciting” new UK training facility in order to help develop young talent within the industry.
The facility, at RPC Containers’ site in Oakham, has been set up following similar successful projects within the group’s European plants in order to address the growing skills deficit its UK cluster as the average age of the engineering workforce increases.
So it can offer eight apprenticeship places per year, investment has been made in a custom-designed training centre, as well as staff, to provide a solid, structured programme utilising instructors who continue to work within the core business.
Within the new centre, Summit Systems has supplied ancillary equipment and visual training support aids, as well as making the extensive knowledge of its Technical Engineers available to RPC Containers in order to broaden the knowledge of the trainees.
“Summit Systems appreciate only too well the importance of continuing to bring through new blood within the industry,” commented Mike Jordan, Managing Director of Summit Systems. “Our own experiences with apprenticeships have been very positive. This whole project is on another level and I applaud RPC Oakham for stepping up to the plate to address the issue.”
RPC says it has found that colleges are unable to offer the balance of practical skills, work readiness and added specialisms that it needs for new trainees in order for the business to continue to grow.
It is therefore reverting to “old style” apprenticeships with the first 12 months of the programme, which focus on hand skills and manual engineering manufacture, as well as the following current engineering and polymer frameworks. Additionally, the courses include additional training and interpersonal development activities.
Bruce Margetts, RPC UKIM Cluster Manager, said: ‘The support for our vision to kick-start serious apprenticeships relevant to the plastics processing industry has been gratifying. The opportunity to inject skills across our own workforce and benefit other local companies and industrial partners has to be a positive step.”