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Formica benefiting from re-launched apprenticeship scheme

The reintroduction last year of its apprenticeship scheme is already bringing benefits to North East laminate manufacturer Formica.


Having abandoned the apprenticeship scheme some years ago, Formica has bolstered the team and brought new and different skillsets into the business, according to the company’s chief operating officer, Paul Foreman, who was being interviewed as part of this quarter’s Manufacturing Growth Network.


Foreman said that, as the only laminate manufacturer in the UK, the skillsets the business needs are bespoke which means the workforce “is incredibly knowledgeable about the processes and systems we have in place, as well as all the technical issues that go into making the products and they are a key contributor to our success.”


Formica has been manufacturing its laminate products to customers across Europe from the North Shields (which is the company’s European headquarters) site since the 1940s, as well as on another site In Newton Aycliffe, employing about 500 people.


The apprentices were first introduced into the maintenance team, as there were a few people in that department that were about to retire but others have since also been introduced into the engineering area of the business.


Commenting further on the apprenticeship scheme, Paul Foreman said: “Not only has it bolstered the team, it’s also brought in different types of skillsets to the business. So it’s been really well received and we’re now looking at it from a broader perspective as well, looking to bring apprentices into the supply chain team next year.”


Formica’s owner – Fletcher Building – is currently investing £40m in facilities and in people at the North Shields site. This is split between capital expenditure on new machinery and in staff training, all of which is set to be completed by the end of 2018.


To read the full interview with Paul Foreman click here


Click here to access the tables.


To join the Manufacturing Growth Network visit: https://www.insidermedia.com/manufacturing-growth-network/become-a-member


As originally published in Insider Media