A Runcorn-based firm has launched its own apprenticeship scheme to help close the skills gap.
TALL Security Print, the UK’s leading provider of special cheques,credits and secure encoded documents, is offering young workers the opportunity to gain NVQ qualifications while obtaining on the job experience.
Peter Andrew, Group Sales & Marketing Director, said he supported the government’s goal to deliver £3m apprenticeships by the end of this parliament to address Britain’s weak productivity.
“We think that George Osborne’s push for more NVQ apprenticeships, as part of the recent Budget, is crucial because although unemployment is reported as low, young people are still finding it very difficult to get a foot in the door.
“Supporting apprenticeships is a great way for businesses to give back to their community. It’s also a shrewd business investment, we still need fresh talent and if young people are experienced and skilled like the NVQ apprentices, they are very desirable employees for the future.”
Kieron Acton, 21, from Runcorn, was TALL’s first apprentice under the new scheme. After passing a three-month trial period, he joined the team as a full-time Apprentice Print Finisher while studying for an NVQ in Print Finishing under the guidance of a tutor from the British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF).
He said: “It’s been great to get hands-on experience with TALL. The staff here are very helpful and I’ve learnt a lot. Before I started my apprenticeship I finished my GCSE’s at School and secured a position in a fairly mundane job. I wanted something that would give me an apprenticeship and a recognised qualification and this is where TALL have helped. I would definitely recommend apprenticeships to anyone who is serious about progressing their career.”
Within a short space of time at TALL, Acton has learnt about all aspects of secure document print finishing, which will help him to further his career in the printing industry.
“Through his experience at TALL, Kieron has learnt about all aspects of secure document print finishing from using a guillotine machine to specialist document binding equipment. This makes it an ideal training placement for young people who want to understand printing. We’re delighted that this placement is going so well, Kieron has covered a lot of ground in a short space of time at TALL”
Andrew added: “We chose Kieron out of four potential apprentices and he is a real pleasure to work with and it has been good to see him progress. (He is currently completing an NVQ Level 3 in Print Finishing which will be the start of his career in the security print industry. TALL holds the Investors in People Accreditation and believes in internally promoting staff whenever possible so there will be opportunities for Kieron to progress in the future.) It is fantastic to see Bethany making strides too and it is very important for companies like ours to invest in our future generations.”