Posted: Sun 11th Jun 2017

Deeside aerospace company flies to double success at VQ Awards

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Jun 11th, 2017

Deeside aerospace engineering business Electroimpact UK Ltd completed a notable double at the Vocational Qualification (VQ) Awards ceremony last Tuesday.

The Hawarden-based business collected the VQ Employer of the Year and its UK manufacturing lead Matthew Booth was named VQ Trainer of the Year at the ceremony held at St David’s Hotel, Cardiff on the eve of VQ Day on June 7.

The coveted annual awards, organised by the Welsh Government, National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), ColegauCymru / CollegesWales and Qualifications Wales, celebrate those who use technical, practical and vocational qualifications to achieve success.

The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

Investment in work-based learning has helped Electroimpact UK Ltd grow its workshop by 50 per cent more than planned and led to national and international awards for its skilled apprentices.

The company immersed its employees in the opportunities provided by vocational qualifications four years ago. Matthew completed a Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4) in Leadership so that he could lead by example before introducing the training to apprentices and employees.

The company, which employs 150 staff, currently has five of its 10 machine room employees working towards or in receipt of vocational qualifications.

“Vocational training has allowed us to build an extremely skilled workforce. Our skilled apprentices have gone on to win national competitions and awards as well as international competitions while representing our company and country,” added Matthew.

Electroimpact UK Ltd had apprentices at WorldSkills UK and international competitions for the past two years, winning two gold, one silver and a bronze medal. One apprentice went to the EuroSkills finals in Sweden, winning a medallion of excellence.

The company has worked with training provider Coleg Cambria to deliver its training. “Electroimpact is a model of how a company should use vocational training,” said Vicky Barwis, director at Coleg Cambria. “The apprentices, although part of a small cohort, receive world class training and additional mentoring and coaching to achieve excellence in skills competitions as well as achieving high marks in their qualifications.”

Matthew, from Brymbo near Wrexham, began his career as an apprentice toolmaker 20 years ago and undertook training while developing his career.

He has also gained his EngTech accreditation though IMechE and has also worked with SEMTA, a body promoting STEM subjects in the UK, to develop a Master Craftsman qualification.

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