A record number of Hartlepool apprentices have been taken on at Sunderland Engineering firm Unipres UK.
The company’s Sunderland plant is the focal points of Unipres operations in Europe. As a manufacturer of press-formed automotive components, they apply technical skills, including expertise in safety and environmental performance, to create a range of technology solutions tailored to meet the needs of customers.
Unipres is steadfastly committed to creating employment opportunities, investing in the creation of the Unipres Training Academy, which opened its doors in 2017.
With factory-standard equipment and tutors who have first-hand manufacturing experience, the company have created a production line of future talent.
Hartlepool College of Further Education and Unipres now have more than 60 apprentices on their team.
Rob Dodds, Unipres’ apprenticeships lead, said: “Today shows the trust and faith we have in the college to provide the level of education and training we require to secure the future talent pipeline to maintain a highly skilled workforce.”
He added: “Our partnership has grown each year and we look forward to working with the college for many years to come.”
The college’s assistant principal, Gary Riches, said: “We are extremely proud to continue our partnership with Unipres.
“It’s a real coup for the college to work with an international organisation.
“When we first started the partnership in 2017, the apprentices recruited that year lived north of Hartlepool and we now see Hartlepool College students being recruited to Unipres apprenticeships.
“This highlights how we are improving the life chances of people in Hartlepool by giving them opportunities to work with international organisations.
“Unipres has more apprentices with us than any other organisation. This shows that by allowing the employer to choose what training and skills they require it encourages them to heavily invest in its future workforce.”
Megan Gorman, from Shotton, is the first female apprentice to join the scheme and has already progressed from a full-time Level 2 apprenticeship to a Level 4 HNC qualification involving a day release from Unipres.
Megan, 24, said: “I was originally set on A-levels and going to university but the college came along and I realised there was an alternative.
“Now, these years later, I’m very proud of myself for becoming Unipres’ first ever female apprentice to be promoted to junior engineer in assembly engineering since the plant opened in 1987.
“Hopefully that will set the benchmark for others to follow. That would be fantastic.
“I don’t want to stop here. I have enjoyed the studies, the apprenticeship and the work. After finishing my NVQ hopefully I will go on to claim a degree in electrical engineering.”