EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR VEKA BREAKS OWN APPRENTICE PROGRAM PB
April 12, 2018
Industry-leading PVC-U systems supplier VEKA Group has trained and recruited more than 60 apprentices in less than 25 years. This year the North West company – which has been awarded two separate ‘Employer of the Year’ industry awards in the last 12 months – has now opened its doors to the largest apprentice program to date.
The VEKA Group apprenticeship program started 23 years ago in the Engineering department of its Burnley-based plant. This year, VEKA’s annual number of apprenticeships will reach a record best of 13 places and will be available across even more areas of the company, including Customer Services, Technical, Engineering Maintenance and Tool Development. 2018 will also be the first year that VEKA offers senior apprenticeship positions alongside undergraduate courses, which will further enhance the commercial ability and overall training level of the recruits upon completion.
Head of HR for VEKA Gabriela Hammond says, “One of the reasons our apprenticeship program is so valuable is that once trainees have completed their course, they are not only academically qualified but they are ‘job ready’ particularly when it comes to the VEKA factory and its many specialist departments.
“From the Group’s side of things, this means the new recruit is already a part of the ‘VEKA family’ and up to speed with the company’s working methods and values, and for the apprentice, it means an entry way into one of the world’s leading names in fenestration. There is a third benefit also, and that is for our customers. When apprentices start their new careers at VEKA, our customers can be assured that in-house training means the talent base we have here is consistently high.”
With some members of staff having been with VEKA in Burnley since 1986, VEKA Group has an industry-wide reputation for working extremely hard to make sure all employees feel supported throughout their careers; a mentality that begins at apprenticeship. In the summer of 2017, VEKA SPIRIT was ‘born’ as a new way to protect and project the positive attitude VEKA Group has for the 400-plus team.
The ‘people first’ VEKA SPIRIT initiative has undoubtedly also played a part in the company being awarded not one, but two, ‘Employer of the Year’ industry awards, the first at Burnley Business Awards in the autumn of 2017, and the second, a Red Rose Award at the beginning of this year. These two awards are a responsibility that the company takes very seriously, with staff encouraged to take annual employee engagement surveys – in order to obtain up-to-date feedback from the team at every level – including apprentices – and address it accordingly.
Gabriela adds, “VEKA Group’s MD Dave Jones himself started out as an apprentice, so he knows first hand how these programs can springboard men and women to successful careers. We are all proud to work within a company that has such strong values when it comes to the career enrichment of individuals and the business as a whole. VEKA is the sum of its parts which relies on engagement and encouragement from the very top tier to our newest recruits.”