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Prodrive apprentices make the grade

News International-French

1 Apr 2015

In what is the largest composite industry apprenticeship scheme in the UK, 25 Prodrive apprentices have completed their level 2 NVQ in composite engineering.

The newly qualified group are now working on programmes at Prodrive Composite’s factory in Milton Keynes, ranging from the manufacture of components for a number of British sports and super cars to the construction of the European Space Agency’s new Mars Rover.

With a dramatic growth in business and a general lack of skilled composite technicians, in what is an expanding global industry, Prodrive took the decision in 2013 to recruit and train its own young talent.  Prodrive worked with the Milton Keynes-based TXM Academy to deliver the programme and through a combination of work-based and classroom training, all now have a nationally recognised qualification and the skills necessary for a career in composite engineering.

Chris Smith, Prodrive Composites operations director, who oversaw the apprenticeship programme, said: “Back in 2013 we employed about 70 staff, but with major programmes coming on stream we realised would soon need nearly 200.  There just aren’t that many skilled composite technicians in the UK yet, because it is such a new and growing sector, so our only option was to train our own.  It has turned out to be the best decision we could have made and we have great group of enthusiastic technicians.”

The apprenticeship programme has proved so successful that the company has now already begun recruiting another 15 apprentices for 2015, who should be qualified in 12 months.

Prodrive Composites is a part of the British motorsport and advanced technology group Prodrive, headquartered in Banbury, Oxfordshire.