Coleg Cambria​ are partnering with Westbridge Furniture on Deeside Industrial Estate to create a Traineeship Academy using the Welsh Government scheme. 

The scheme is being used to support an innovative new Furniture Upholstery Apprenticeship being launched by Westbridge Furniture. The Traineeship programme was open to individuals aged between 16 and 18 who expressed an interest in the apprenticeship scheme at Westbridge Furniture. The programme gives these young people preparation for employment and a work trial at Westbridge.

The first four weeks will be classroom based at Coleg Cambria. These sessions aim to equip them with work ready skills such as the importance of health and safety, teamwork, problem solving, good attendance and timekeeping, whilst developing their confidence. The academy will allow young people to develop their employability skills and then participate in a 4 week work placement at Westbridge Furniture. At the end of the academy Westbridge Furniture will select 6-8 of the best candidates for an apprenticeship in furniture upholstery, in partnership with Coleg Cambria and North Lancs Training Group.

Nick Arundell, Human Resources Manager for Westbridge said, “when I started five years ago there were 520 members of staff, now there are 1,431. This is the first time we have ventured into this territory and we want to encourage self-selection by offering the initial traineeship course as a ‘work taster’ to help the young person decide whether an upholstery apprenticeship is right for them. We are not going to pay a basic apprentice wage, it will be above that, and there is a commitment to introduce more apprenticeships in other areas as we want to attract young talent into the business and help them realise their potential. That’s the word from the top!”

Nicola Gaughran, Operations Manager for Traineeships at Coleg Cambria said:

“This is an amazing opportunity for Coleg Cambria to work with a forward thinking local employer to develop the skills gaps that are currently affecting their sector. Traineeships has previously ran similar academies with other local employers such as North Wales Fire & Rescue and Thomson Reuters. We foresee that partnership working with local employers will continue to enhance the provision available for 16-18 year olds living in NE Wales who are looking to secure an apprenticeship.”

If you would like more information about any of our upcoming programmes then please contact traineeships@cambria.ac.uk or call 01978 267472

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