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Aviation apprentices in the running for top awards

Leading South Wales aircraft engineering business, GE Aviation Wales, has been shortlisted for two Made in Wales awards.

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The Awards, managed by Wales Business Insider, celebrate the great innovations, ideas and products from the most innovative and dynamic manufacturers across Wales. GE has been shortlisted for both the Manufacturing Apprenticeship/Training Scheme and Collaboration awards.

The Apprenticeship category looks at companies in Wales which are doing the most to further the cause of apprenticeships and the general training and upskilling of its workforce. The Collaboration category recognises manufacturing businesses which have developed a significant relationship with a third party – in this case, with Coleg y Cymoedd.

Coleg y Cymoedd is the key delivery partner for the GE Aviation Wales apprenticeship programme. This partnership allows GE to equip apprentices with the academic and technical qualifications they need to thrive as employees. The programme is spread over three years and attracts around 450 applications for just 25 positions. On average 95% of apprentices who graduate from the programme stay with the business and over one third of the current workforce at the Nantgarw site joined as apprentices.

In addition to combining technical training and classroom teaching, GE Aviation Wales also provides personal and professional development opportunities for all apprentices. By getting the apprentices involved in school partnership projects, careers fairs, volunteering projects and programmes like the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, GE helps to develop well-rounded individuals who are better able to integrate with teams across the business.

Nick Blakeney, Site Leader at GE Aviation Wales said:

“Our business is built on skilled and talented individuals from across Wales and around the world. We are extremely proud of our apprenticeship programme, through which we work hard to develop the next generation of talent and experience.

“I am delighted that our apprenticeship programme has been shortlisted for two Made in Wales awards. This is a true recognition of the dedication and commitment of our apprentices, their assessors and our partners at Coleg y Cymoedd. It is also a real validation of the importance of combining technical and academic qualifications – something that is vital to the success of our industry. As they graduate, I look forward to welcoming our apprentices into the business later this month.” 

Judith Evans, Principal at Coleg y Cymoedd said:

“Coleg y Cymoedd is delighted that GE Aviation Wales has been shortlisted for these awards, this recognises the strong commitment that GE has for investing in their future workforce. The college and GE have worked together for over 30 years, the partnership has gone from strength to strength equipping young people with the high-level skills that they need for the aerospace industry.  

“The partnership is unique. We work to overcome barriers, we are responsive to industry needs and work together to encourage young people to enter a fantastic career with a supportive employer.”