Partwell Group Committed to Young Learners

Based in the heart of East Lancashire, Partwell Engineering has supported local apprentices for more than four years.

Having so far employed six young learners, two in Engineering and four in Business Administration, the family-run business, which specialises in plastics and engineering, is committed to the promotion and progression of its staff.

“Partwell’s primary focus for the coming months is to build on our commitment to helping young learners, with Apprenticeships integral in helping steer Partwell towards manufacturing excellence” explains Jane McConnell, office manager at Partwell Group.

Partwell’s very first apprentice was 16-year-old Matthew Woodhouse.

For Matthew, the university route was unappealing. Having witnessed first-hand the benefits of earning while learning from his older brother, who at the time was an engineering apprentice, choosing the same path was an effortless decision. He enrolled onto an Apprenticeship with Blackburn-based Partwell Engineering in 2011 and hasn’t looked back since.

Now 19 and with four NVQs under his belt including Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications in both Business Administration and Customer Service, he’s aiming high and hopes one day to progress to a sales manager role.

“I’ve always had an interest in business and sales and preferred the financial and lifestyle benefits that a work-based qualification provided,” explains Matthew.

Having witnessed an improvement in productivity and performance, the decision to recruit more apprentices was a simple one for Partwell Engineering.

Jane continued: “When hiring new staff members we look at whether the role could be filled by an apprentice, to ensure we continue providing opportunities for local young people.

“We don’t see our apprentices as simply an additional resource, we see then as a valuable asset to help us try new things, for example, our latest Business Administration apprentice spends 50% of their role assisting the sales staff and the other half progressing with marketing and digital projects.”

Partwell was shortlisted for Medium Employer of the Year at the 2014 National Apprenticeship Awards, whilst Matthew Woodhouse scooped the Intermediate Apprenticeship Achievement Award.

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