Image caption: 2022 induction Level 3 Apprentice Cohort group photo
GTR Composites, part of the GTR Group, in collaboration with Chichester College Group (CCG), has successfully trained over 170 trainees, graduates and Level 3 and 4 Apprentice Composite Technicians. The Company has been engaged in this activity since 2017 and sees their apprentice and trainee programme as essential in this rapidly growing area of advanced manufacturing, in order to provide the company with the skilled workforce of the future.
A trained apprentice will have successfully completed a 36-month “Composites Technician” course which provides participants with an advanced Level 3 National Vocational Qualification (equivalent to 2 x A-Level’s). The apprenticeship scheme at GTR Composites continues to grow from links with local colleges and schools. In particular, Bishop Luffa at Chichester whom the company provided technical advice and support for their Greenpower F24 E-power race car series, St.Philip Howard school Barnham and Felpham Community College, all of which have provided apprentice applicants and also, to which GTR Composites has engaged in their Career Support Events. Since September 2022 GTR, in conjunction with their strategic partners in this venture, CCG, are now also delivering a Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Engineering. This is a 24-month course which has been offered to 10 of GTR’s existing apprentices.
Training was initially conducted at GTR’s Unit 6 facility at their site located at Easthampnett, near Chichester. The centre was fully equipped with all systems required to support composite technology learning and at full capacity could accommodate 10 persons in any one programme. From summer 2018 to autumn 2022 the centre saw 150 trainees, apprentices and graduates through its doors. In September 2022, the training facility was relocated to the GTR headquarters at Fontwell. This new facility can accommodate 12 learners and provides easier access to all the resources required to fully teach the subjects along with access to the main manufacturing plant for the more practical elements of the course. Since September 2022, two cohorts of learners have been inducted consisting of 10 new Level 3 Composite Technician Apprentices and 10 new Composite Technician Trainees. After apprentices complete the initial 6-week induction package, they are able to participate in elements of the production process to gain valuable hands-on experience, under the supervision and guidance of appropriately qualified and skilled members of the production team.
Simon Kingdon-Butcher, Co-founder, Owner and Director at GTR said: “our apprentice training scheme is a hugely valued strategic venture here at GTR. It’s been developed and led by our Head of Training Jeff Tinsley, and working in partnership with CCG, we’re able to deliver on-the-job training that is recognised and rewarded with an appropriate qualification at the end. We’re very proud of the fantastic set up we have here at GTR to enable our apprentices and trainees to become highly skilled and valuable members of our team. Close to 30% of our current full-time members of staff have joined us through our training scheme so it’s a hugely important investment in future talent for us, as well as the wider promotion of engineering as a future career option for young people”.