New apprenticeship initiative to help support plastics industry

Posted on 21 Jan 2016 by Jonny Williamson

Industry technical compounder and recycler, Luxus and its partner plastics piping manufacturer, Polypipe have launched a Compounding Polymer Apprenticeship scheme to address the sectors skills shortage.

The first group of three apprentice technicians – Callum Ely (16), James Laurence (22) from Luxus, and Kamil Ostrowski (22) from Polypipe – have begun the new two-year, multi-site apprenticeship in polymer processing, delivered in partnership with training provider, Solutions4Polymers and funded by Cogent.

L to R: Simon Thompson (quality manager, Luxus); Ashley Bell (quality manager, Polypipe); James Laurence (apprentice, Luxus); Kamil Ostrowski (apprentice, Polypipe), and Callum Ely (apprentice, Luxus).
L to R: Simon Thompson (quality manager, Luxus); Ashley Bell (quality manager, Polypipe); James Laurence (apprentice, Luxus); Kamil Ostrowski (apprentice, Polypipe), and Callum Ely (apprentice, Luxus).

The new scheme is part of the Government’s Trailblazer Apprenticeship Standards initiative launched earlier this year, which aims to help develop apprenticeships in direct consultation with employers to ensure that training is directly relevant to industry needs.

The long standing industry partners, Luxus and Polypipe decided to become early adopters of this initiative as there is a genuine lack of apprenticeships and training dedicated to polymer processing – particularly at the sub-degree level.

The new scheme will offer therefore an effective means of developing the skills of their workforce.

Luxus quality manager, Simon Thompson commented: “It has been widely reported that we are facing a chronic skills shortage in engineering talent in the UK, which is particularly acute in the plastics industry.

“This partnership with Polypipe will benefit the apprentices from both businesses. They will be able to learn about the various types of thermoplastics and their processing characteristics in our state of the art Technical Centre, right through to subsequent processes; such as injection moulding to develop the finished pipe component at Polypipe’s Horncastle plant.

“It will not only help ensure the availability of skilled staff in the future, but most importantly, it will provide the opportunity for us to award the progress our apprentices make too.”

Managing director at Solutions4Polymers, Andy Barnard added: “Although engineering training is well catered for, we have seen the need for industry specific plastics processing training in the market.

“We are therefore, pleased to help develop a scheme from scratch and are looking forward to seeing their progress over the next two years.”