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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

VEKA set to take on record number of apprentices in Burnley

One of Burnley’s biggest employers, VEKA plc, is doubling down on its commitment to help ‘Build the Future’ as it celebrates National Apprenticeship Week.

The industry-leading supplier of uPVC windows and doors will take on a record number of apprentices this year as it kick-starts a new programme aimed at giving young people “more than just a qualification”.

Organised in conjunction with THEMIS at Burnley College, the two-year manufacturing apprenticeship will see 10 young people working across different departments as they develop a full understanding of the business.

Gabriela Hammond, Head of HR at VEKA plc, said: “Burnley has been a product of its own success in recent years in that it’s driven unemployment down.

“As a business we’re committed to attracting and retaining the best people, and developing apprenticeships are part of our long term strategy.

“This apprenticeship programme has been specifically developed around VEKA, in partnership with THEMIS. The 10 apprentices will come into the business immediately, working across all our production departments so that at the end of the programme they are ready to work in whichever area is best suited.”

Alongside the skills-based learning, apprentices will also take part in several events and activities designed to grow and develop their life skills.

Supported by Burnley FC in the Community, Gabriela said this was one of the core principles of the training.

“A big part of this programme is developing the person. What you’ll find with a lot of apprentices is they’ll achieve the qualification, but that’s all it is, it’s just a piece of paper. We really need to do more to help develop the life skills that need to go with it.

“Activities will include team building, critical thinking, charity work, financial planning and budgeting, resilience development, and much more.

“At VEKA we care about our partners, our people & our environment and having the right people, with the right values, keeps us going and growing.”

VEKA’s commitment to inspiring the next generation was recently recognised by the Lancashire Skills Pledge, a scheme that supports staff education and development.

The Rossendale Road business is also sponsoring this year’s inaugural JPI Media Lancashire Apprenticeship Awards and continues to support local schools like Sir John Thursby in its role as enterprise advisor.

Gabriela said VEKA was a “great” place to work – and a recent employee survey, with an 84% response rate, showed 71% of staff agreed with her.

However, she said perceptions around careers in manufacturing still needed changing.

“We need to get into schools and help change perceptions, because schools can’t do it by themselves.

“We build careers at VEKA, not just jobs. All our people have a part to play in delivering products and services of exceptional quality. Our culture encourages ambition and continuous improvement as we develop the products, and people of the future.

“Burnley also benefits, because we’re creating a better next generation of people, a workforce that wants to see the town thrive.”

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