Protecting skills for years to come

l-r) Clare Hennessy (Head of HR) and Glyn Dickens (Manufacturing Manager at Wolverhampton)

One of the UK’s leading specialists in metal pressings, operator cab assemblies, fuel and hydraulic tanks and complex structures is investing in a major apprenticeship drive to help prevent it losing vital skills.

Fablink Group, which has three sites in Wolverhampton, Northampton and County Durham, has taken on 22 apprentices over the last three years and is planning to recruit a further four.

This move has been put in place to help it cope with an increase in demand for its services from customers in the automotive, off highway and armoured vehicle sectors, not to mention a long-term aim to ensure it maintains valuable skills that give the firm its competitive edge.

Clare Hennessy, Head of HR at Fablink Group, explained: “Our people are our biggest asset, but a lot of the workforce are getting older and some are reaching retirement age – with this comes the threat of us losing knowledge and traditional skills forever.

“We needed to address this so decided the best approach was to invest in ‘growing our own’ and apprenticeships provide the best way of getting staff we can shape in our culture and who can soak up all of this valuable experience and expertise.”

She went on to add: “22 young people are currently going through their training and we are currently looking at a further press operator, maintenance engineer, electrical engineer and an IT apprentice.

“Our varied manufacturing disciplines give young people a great start to their career and the opportunity to progress in the area of engineering they like best.”

Fablink has a long-standing relationship with In-Comm Training, embracing its employer-led approach to apprenticeships for more than five years.

It has also tapped into the training provider’s suite of upskilling courses, investing in sending its supervisors on Level 3 training and signing up for specialist sessions on presentation skills, assertiveness and advanced Excel.