Nifco apprentices cruise through course

Erika Marshall     22nd November 2016

CAR PARTS manufacturer Nifco is celebrating student success, with seven of its apprentices now time-served.

The Eaglescliffe based company, which makes parts that are used in the engines, interiors and exteriors of cars made by BMW Mini, Ford, Honda, Jaguar Landrover, Nissan, Toyota and Vauxhall Opel is hosting an apprentice graduation event for Ben Arthy, Francesca Clarke, James Harrington, Jamie Taylor, Scott Simpson, Callum Cleary and Joshua Thompson, all of whom have successfully passed their training programmes.

The graduation day, which took place on November 21, was attended by the Mayor of Stockton, Councillor Ken Dixon, and his wife Mayoress Linda Dixon, as well as families and friends of the graduates, and saw the firm recognise the achievements of the young team, who are now fully qualified in their fields.

Apprentices are at the heart of Nifco UK’s recruitment strategy, with the company’s own managing director, Mike Matthews MBE, and 80% of the company’s senior managers having entered business through an apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships have been part of Nifco since the days when it was known as Elta Plastics, but the business overhauled its apprenticeship programme in 2012 – intensifying it to meet the demands of the looming skills gap. Mr Matthews announced Nifco’s intention to bring through the next generation of craftsmen, the company now offers apprenticeships across a vast range of disciplines including IT, Logistics, Maintenance, Finance and Engineering. Nifco is now focusing on the ongoing progression of its new recruits and its existing team.

Mike Matthews said: “We wanted our apprentices to enjoy a ceremony that shows them just how proud we are of them.

“I spend a lot of time campaigning for apprenticeships because I have seen the difference they can make to businesses.  Nifco has taken on apprentices right across the business, and they have already achieved great things.  Their learning doesn’t stop here though, we will be supporting them as they advance their careers, helping them to achieve even more and in turn helping Nifco to grow too.”

Japanese-owned Nifco has taken on more than 30 apprentices over the past few years.

Erika Marshall, Marketing & Communications Manager at Nifco said of the event: “This is now an annual event – and one of the nicest events in the Nifco calendar. It is fantastic to host special guests such as our local mayor but also heads of colleges and training centres who work in partnership with us to support these young people on their learning journies – it really demonstrates the commitment we all make to apprenticeships.”

The company works closely with local schools, colleges and training facilities as well as universities to ensure it plays a part in bringing through future talent.

Mike Matthews added: “If 20% of the 70,000 businesses in our region recruited an apprentice – or an additional one if they already do, just think about the difference this would make to our businesses, our region and our future – certainly food for thought and I would encourage all businesses to back apprenticeships”