Trafford College is marking National Apprenticeship Week by celebrating the vital role of apprentices during the Covid-19 pandemic, five of whom are supporting the delivery of crucial medical supplies for Nightingale hospitals.
With apprenticeships spanning dozens of curriculum areas, many College trainees have been performing essential tasks on the frontline in areas such as teaching and science as well as within the NHS, while studying for their qualifications through successive lockdowns.
Among the unsung heroes are a group of engineering and business administration apprentices who have been helping Old Trafford-based, Oxylitre, meet a 30 per cent surge in demand for its medical devices throughout the pandemic, including oxygen-based alternatives to ventilators. The trainees have been instrumental in performing quality control, production and administrative duties, enabling experienced staff to work round-the-clock in the manufacture, supply and maintenance of critical care apparatus to save lives around the globe.
Oxylitre Group Product, Research & Development and HR Manager, Clive Francis, said: “Apprentices have played a pivotal role in our operations. They’re receptive, keen and have even taught us a thing or two to help streamline our working practices and operate more cost efficiently, with the ideas from their classrooms. I can’t think of anything more rewarding than helping the next generation into the job market and helping them to grow and become confident. We only feel immense pride when we watch someone gain a skill set that they can take with them for the rest of their lives”.
Assistant Principal – Adult Skills and Apprenticeships, Joan Scott, said: “I’m incredibly proud of how our apprentices, their employers and our dedicated team of staff have adapted to the ever-changing circumstances we have all experienced over the past year due to Covid. This National Apprenticeship Week I would like to give particular praise to those performing vital services for our community at a time of great need, these people are real unsung heroes”.