Igniting a new career in an ever-changing sector
Attributed to Lee Wright, Talent and OD Specialist, Encirc
We should make no secret of the fact that manufacturing has a significant skills shortage, with fewer young people entering into the sector. At the same time, the demand for consumer products like the billions of glass containers we produce every year, remains consistently high – especially throughout the last 12 months which has placed an immense strain on the retail market.
At Encirc, we know that if we are to go about solving a problem, the first step means shedding a light on the issue. During National Apprenticeship Week, it feels like an appropriate time to showcase our ambitions at Encirc to get more young people to realise the exciting future they could have in manufacturing, through our Ignite programme.
Manufacturing isn’t what it used to be. This is something you can say every six months due to the fast-paced innovations and rapid implementation of cutting-edge processes and equipment across the sector. Our industry grows by making use of the latest technologies and finding better, more efficient ways of making things. We’re becoming a lot more digital, with automation and connectivity now widespread, especially at our sites in Encirc. We call this movement towards digitisation, ‘Industry 4.0’ as it represents the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Getting an apprenticeship in manufacturing is a fantastic first step on the route towards an exciting, challenging and dynamic range of career paths. It’s a chance for school leavers to receive paid employment, genuine work experience and vocational qualifications, that further add to their growth and development. It’s also a great way to determine which particular skill paths are best suited for them.
This is where our Ignite apprenticeship programme comes in, which aims to support anyone looking to get their foot through the door and see what a manufacturing career has to offer. Ignite provides apprentices with a structured programme that offers additional learning opportunities through our world-leading Vidrala Academy.
Apprentices also have access to an enrichment curriculum providing exposure and development in other areas of the business, and a great support network through their line manager and the talent team.
Our Ignite programme is open to anyone over the age of 16, and is based out of our two sites in Elton, Cheshire, and Derrylin, Northern Ireland.
At Encirc, we’re proud to say that our containers are the most ethical form of packaging in the market. Glass is 100% recyclable, unlike other materials. We promote its incredible eco-benefits wherever we can, always looking for new methods and technologies that will help us produce them in a more sustainable way. As well as being an ethical manufacturer, we operate with an ethos geared around People, Planet, Place, and Prosperity, making sure Encirc is a great place to work, while also contributing positively to the world around us.
We’re proud to say that throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve remained fully operational thanks to our unique business model, avoiding the need to make redundancies or even furlough anyone.
The future of Ignite
Through Ignite, we aim to equip apprentices with the invaluable skills they need both now and, in the future, when industry practices are likely to have evolved even further, particularly in a post-COVID world.
We aspire for Ignite to grow over the next few years, creating more diverse opportunities for young people, and with many more learning features added to our curriculum. It’s our obligation to promote glass and STEM careers to young people as a genuine and exciting career choice, and help solve the skills shortage. There are so many options and routes available within manufacturing and engineering, and we want Ignite to shine a bright light on them.
If you’re looking for a new start and to take part in our Ignite apprenticeship programme, you can register your interest here.