Local Glass Technology Company Takes On 12 Apprentices

Tue, 2001-02-13 00:00

12 apprentices have been taken on by Fortress Architectural Systems LLP, a Seaham based company which specialises in glazing solutions for industrial windows, doors and curtain walling.

The apprentices were employed as a result of Fortress working with East Durham College in Peterlee.

The newly developed relationship with the College has now resulted in the College providing Fortress with bright, young employees on a regular basis and 70% of the company’s workforce is now in training on various programmes with the College.

The ongoing commitment Fortress has given to the students and the College has resulted in the company being nominated for ‘Employer of the Year’ with the College's National Apprenticeship Service (NAS).

The 12 newest recruits come from a range of educational backgrounds; business administration, warehouse distribution, manufacturing and engineering.

A fellow apprentice Jessica Barker, 18, from Easington said: “Working for Fortress so far has been a great experience and I’m extremely grateful to have the opportunity to work here.

“All the people I work with are so helpful and give me motivation and drive to do well and succeed. Fortress is a friendly but hardworking environment which I‘m proud to be a part of.”

Both the glazing company and college lecturers have worked together to develop training plans for each and every student involved, which further enhances the students’ skills and employability.

As a result of the successful alliance apprentices are getting the opportunity to combine their education with real on the job learning, therefore enhancing the students' knowledge and ability as well as providing advantages to organisations in the form of fresh and enthusiastic talent.

Hayley Clifton, a Business Development Officer at the College, said: “Working alongside the management team at Fortress has been an absolute pleasure. The company’s commitment to training has been a real breath of fresh air during this unstable economic time.

“The company has taken on 12 Apprentices in a six month period, a record for any employer East Durham College has ever worked with, thus resulting in them being nominated for this award.

“The structure and management of the company can only be enhanced with the onset of the apprentices and training within Fortress will hopefully make for future success and growth for the business. I personally will look forward to working with Fortress moving forward.”

Mark Stone, Health & Safety/Apprentice Manager at Fortress, added: "Our experience with East Durham College throughout the initial vetting of potential employees has been fantastic.

“All the Apprentices contribute to the overall smooth running of Fortress. We were absolutely delighted to be nominated by the College for an Apprenticeship Scheme Award.

“Due to the input of East Durham College within the apprenticeship scheme we have also utilised their expertise to create an NVQ training programme across the full shop-floor for the older and more experienced operatives"