PETERLEE’S Caterpillar plant goes up against the best of British business today in the National Apprenticeship Awards.
The factory was named Large Employer of the Year in the North East category of the awards and is one of eight organisations and individuals representing the region in the national finals at The Mermaid Theatre in Blackfriars, London.
Caterpillar delivers its apprenticeship programme in partnership with Hartlepool, Durham, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Darlington Colleges, along with South West Durham Training, and has more than 40 of former apprentices now in staff, technical and management roles.
The organisation’s “grow your own” approach has had a very positive impact, equipping the workforce with the necessary skills to sustain and develop the business and directly contributing to improved quality, productivity and safety across the organisation.
Managing director Phil Handley said: “We have a strong commitment to apprenticeships, which is embedded across our organisation. To meet the needs of our industry, we rely on high-calibre people with the right skills and a forward-thinking attitude.
“The apprenticeship programme helps us to achieve this. It provides structured yet flexible training which suits the developing needs of our business.
“It also gives us first-class, committed employees who can grow with our organisation.
“The high number of former apprentices who have progressed to senior management roles is testament to this. It is a real pleasure to see our apprentices progress.”