From education to employment

Asda mechatronics apprentices get hands on in college workshop

Supermarket giant Asda is engaging with North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) for the first time to train the technicians that keep its logistics and warehousing operations moving. Six new engineering apprentices, following the mechatronics pathway, have started their first session at the college’s Nuneaton Campus. They will return the workshops every seven weeks for two weeks in the workshops, taking the skills they learn back to Asda Logistics Services’ hubs at Magna Park in Leicestershire, as well as Warrington, North East Clothing Washington, and Lymedale Clothing in Stoke-on-Trent.

Asda Logistics Services’ distribution operation spans 26 sites nationwide including ambient, chilled, general merchandise and clothing depots. Delivering to every shop across five store formats as well as parcels to customers’ homes and to store for Click and Collect, the operation employs more than 14,000 colleagues across its distribution function.

Keen to focus on building engineering skills within its workforce, Asda engaged NWSLC to support training for engineering technicians who will look after the maintenance and repair of logistics equipment including conveyor belts and chutes, and robotic equipment. The apprentices are expected to achieve their in-depth qualification in mechatronics – specialist skills for the advanced automated manufacturing industry – in around three and a half years.

Nedj Mehmet, Learning and Skills Manager for NWSLC said:

“Asda sets very high standards and has invested a great deal of time in recruiting these apprentices who went through a rigorous assessment process. They all demonstrated an interest in, and commitment to, engineering and a willingness and enthusiasm to learn. Asda is keen to introduce new entrants to this area of the business and believes that there is no replacement for learning practical skills in live occupations. Apprentices are supported by a designated mentor who sets and assesses skills challenges throughout their apprenticeship.”

Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of NWSLC:

“We are delighted to welcome Asda’s new apprentices to the college and look forward to working with Asda Logistics Services who highly value their apprentices and are doing everything they can to offer them a streamlined and effective training experience. It is our role as a college to ensure that they have the right individuals on board because this is a long-term investment that can lead to exciting careers all over the UK. Successful apprentices often progress on to achieve higher level qualifications and gain promotions within the business.”

Sam King, Technical Facilitator, Asda Technical Centre of Excellence. “Everyone at Asda’s Technical Centre of Excellence is pleased to be working in partnership with NWSLC. This has been a project we have been planning for 18 months and we have now selected our six engineering apprentices from around our network. We cannot wait to see them develop and flourish over the next three and a half years and become engineering technicians. This project is the first step to ensuring that we are building the right skill set within our depot teams to guarantee we are fit for the future.”

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