A UNIQUE collaboration between West Cheshire College and Unilever to develop an apprenticeship programme to train the next generation of engineers has won a National Training Award.
The One Unilever Manufacturing Apprenticeship was developed originally between West Cheshire College and Unilever in the North West to meet their specific engineering training needs and it proved so successful that Unilever apprentices from all over the UK are now sent to West Cheshire College to take part in the programme.
College Principal Sara Mogel said: “This is a perfect example of how a college can work with an employer to provide the specific training they need to develop the skills of their employees.
“Unilever is a major employer in this area and we are very proud of the relationship we have developed with them.”
The programme has also seen Wirral-based Unilever apprentice Craig Robinson named this year’s North West Apprentice of the Year.
The College has already been awarded the Training Quality Standard with Excellence in Engineering and is a Skills Pledge Signatory.
Unilever Engineering Project Manager Hazel Elderkin said: “Training Unilever’s next generation engineers in partnership with West Cheshire College now ensures succession of engineering excellence.
“Our manufacturing success depends upon on engineering excellence to maintain our position as a world leader and the One Unilever Manufacturing Apprenticeship is key to supporting it.”
The programme was devised because apprentices were achieving framework qualifications at local colleges, but not necessarily meeting Unilever’s high standards for future skills.
West Cheshire College was able to work closely with the company to ensure a broad programme to cover all the skills, and meet the standards, required by a world class business.
Hazel Elderkin said: “More than 90% of our UK apprentices now attend West Cheshire College which offers both organisations an opportunity for continual development, which in turn provides significant savings for us and gives continuity to apprentices.”
The National Training Awards are the UK´s number one accolade for businesses, organisations and individuals who have achieved lasting excellence and success through training and learning. The Awards recognise and celebrate the vital link between training and development, business success and personal development.