From education to employment

Pay rises and career progression for engineering employees thanks to PMO apprenticeships

APPRENTICES are treading the path to real jobs in a thriving North of England business thanks to partnership working in the engineering training sector with Progress to Excellence Ltd.

Career progression – and associated pay rises – have been made possible for a group of Sondad staff, who have achieved the Performing Manufacturing Operations (PMO) Level 2 apprenticeship qualification whilst working for the company in Bradford.

Four of them – Kyle Pemberton, Alex Quillen, David Walker and Oliver Tinker – have all completed the work-based qualification which is aimed at individuals who are working, or who want to work, across a broad range of areas in the engineering sector.

Jack Walker is the newest recruit and is learning skills as a production operative in the business that makes sample booklets for the big names among the country’s carpet retailers. 

Using manually operated machinery, Sondad employees cut large rolls of carpet into sample-sized pieces which are edged and labelled before being packed and dispatched to stores all over England and Ireland. 

Gary Routledge, Managing Director at Sondad Ltd, said:

“Putting our staff through the Diploma in Performing Manufacturing Operations (PMO) Level apprenticeship has brought great benefits to the business.

“We are strongly committed to developing our workforce with the right training that’s relevant to an engineering operation like ours. Training staff up is not only good for business but it shows our employees how much we value them and their contribution to the company as well as giving them a feeling of pride and self-worth.

“Investing in our young people and in their future helps them to progress within the business. It also helps us to see the amount effort they put in themselves to commit to their training and their jobs.

“Training is a really important part of our culture here as we are always looking for better ways to improve work flows, give our staff targets to meet and offer them a route to progress within the company.

“As a result of their training, our apprentices have had several pay rises and moved up the career ladder from warehouse operatives to joiners in our wood sampling department. And there’s even more progress for them within the company – all because of their initial apprenticeships and their additional courses and learning.”

Along with taking the PMO level 2 qualifications, Sondad Ltd employees will in the New Year be studying for qualifications in Business Improvement Techniques (BIT) which are designed to complement job-specific qualifications and help learners to apply a range of plans to move forward in the industrial workplace.

Damian Burdin, Chief Executive at Progress to Excellence Ltd, said:

“We applaud the commitment by companies like Sondad Ltd who, by partnering with us to deliver their training, are demonstrating their commitment to both their employees and business operations. Qualifications in Business Improvement Techniques (BIT) and Performing Management Operations (PMO) are recognised by the industry as a means of maximising the potential to boost productivity.

“These apprenticeships are such a fantastic way to train new and existing workers. At a time when our engineering and manufacturing industries are recognising the need to collaborate with, and work alongside, the training and education sector to address the nation’s skills shortages, it is great to be developing strong, productive partnerships with companies such as Sondad.”

“Knowledge gained by delivering these qualifications can also help to make a massive contribution to a business’ ability to reduce costs and eliminate waste. 

“They are a route to employees being trained not only in essential skills but also they help to embed a strong work ethic and company specific culture. They also give existing workers the chance be up-skilled to ensure higher productivity.”

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