Composites training center opens in Dorset

Norco, a manufacturer of large composite structures and GRP moldings, has opened a new composites training center to offer hands-on training for new apprentices.

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Norco (Poole, Dorset, U.K.), a manufacturer of large composite structures and GRP moldings, has opened a new training center. The purpose-built facility was created to give hands-on training for new apprentices to tackle the local skills shortage.

“Being based on the south coast, we are in the heart of the UK marine industry and we struggled to recruit capable people,” says Mark Northey, the Managing Director of Norco. “This was a clear sign that we needed to capitalize on the skills already within the company and pass this knowledge on to enthusiastic people willing to learn.”

The apprenticeship program starts in the new training center where the apprentices are trained over a 6-month period in hand laminating, finishing, infusion and prepreg. After the initial 6-month training stage is complete, the apprentices will progress into the production shop floor for a further 30 months. Accompanying their work experience, the apprentices will complete an NVQ in Composite Engineering Level 2 & 3 and a B-Tech Diploma in Composite Engineering Level 3 in conjunction with Yeovil College (Yeovil, U.K.) over the 3-year Apprenticeship.

Northey adds, “As a business, this is an excellent opportunity to train staff to the high standard that we necessitate at Norco. Also, the apprenticeship gives people a chance to enter into the composites industry and have highly sort-after skills and qualifications for life.”

Norco plans to recruit for apprentices every 6-months with their next intake in July 2019.