September 15, 2020 @ 9:00 by Steven Hugill
A County Durham lawnmower maker is continuing to nurture its next generation thanks to a successful training partnership.
More than 50 people have completed apprenticeships or are undertaking programmes at Husqvarna.
Bosses say the feat is particularly impressive since a number of apprenticeships were completed during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The successes come off the back of a tie-up with Peterlee-based GEM Training, which has now supplied more than 500 temporary workers into the Newton Aycliffe cutter maker.
Officials say the latest achievements include GEM Training – which is part of GEM Partnership – helping 33 people complete an ‘Improving Operational Performance: Business-Improvement Techniques, Level: 2’ apprenticeship.
They added the company is now in the process of developing some of these apprentices further with a qualification in team-leading.
Kelly Lee, operations manager at GEM Training, said: “Our partnership with Husqvarna is thriving.
“We’ve been particularly impressed with the attitude and commitment of the apprentices during the months of lockdown.
“How we trained them had to be significantly adapted, and of course Husqvarna wasn’t operating in the usual way either, but all remained 100 per cent committed to their development and that’s backed up by the fact 33 of them have completed their level two programmes.
“In fact, some are looking to progress in team-leading, which is fantastic and shows their willingness to push themselves, but also Husqvarna’s belief in them.”
Husqvarna has also supported two people through BEng Mechanical Engineering qualifications from Teesside University, from which they recently graduated, and both are now aiming to grow with Husqvarna, becoming project engineers before progressing into management roles.
Husqvarna’s Rufus Ayre added: “Attracting talent into our business and nurturing that talent is an integral element of our growth plans.
“What is good for us is that GEM Training understands our business, and specifically tailors their programmes to suit our recruitment programme, so we know the apprentices are completing training and qualifications in areas that will benefit our business.
“Apprentices are so important to our long-term success – we’re investing in them, so they are ideally positioned to become fully-fledged employees with our business with the chance to grow with us.
That’s backed up by the number of existing employees who have come through this route and are continuing to move up the career ladder.”
GEM Training also recently supported Husqvarna in the recruitment of a supply chain administrator, with bosses revealing plans are in place to take on additional apprentices for the firm over the next 12 months.