At the aerospace firm’s training facility in Leicester, the team is celebrating after winning the 2011 Company Training Award from Leicester College.
The apprenticeship scheme has been running for two years at the site, which provides airline services, satellite communications and information systems. Apprenticeships at Thales in Leicester are split between the classroom and other parts of the business, where participants are able to gain hands on work experience.
“Thales UK is a fine example of investment in young people and skills,” commented the lead trainer assessor from Leicester College, Peter Wronkowski. “We are able to draw on years of experience from both sides to give that all-important competitive edge that is needed to [succeed] in today’s global market place.”
The government repeatedly talks of apprenticeships being the saviour of a potential ‘lost generation’ – such celebrations are a cause for optimism. With record numbers of young people going to university this year, huge firms such as BAE Systems are leading the way in promoting vocational skills over more academic subjects.
Marian Deacon, production manager at Thales UK was presented with the award, after running the apprenticeship programme for the past six years. She said of the scheme: “Schemes like this are vital to Thales to allow our experienced engineers to share their skills and knowledge with the younger generation, as well as forging good relationships between Thales and local organisations such as Leicester College.”
Victor Chavez, chief executive of Thales UK said: “We need young people who can, in a structured learning environment, develop within the company. Our apprentices continue to demonstrate that it is the way in which they train that enables them to challenge conventional wisdom, and add value to all aspects of our business, inside and outside our engineering functions.”